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Quotes du jour

Post #1191 • June 11, 2008, 10:56 AM • 287 Comments

"It seems to me that conceptual artists basically want to work in advertising, but aren't quite good enough." David Thompson.

"If you really want to make a statement, make good art." Miamiart.

"These people represent everything that is wrong with the art world." Scott Ewen, on Artblog.net.

"The art world, like a mean and bullying little fat girl." Salute the Rough Guys.

Comment

1.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 11:22 AM

Sorry to bulge over in this post.

"Me: I'm still waiting to hear about how all the accountability demanded of the professionals involved squares with what happened to the NEA as described by Munson.

Clem: I pointed out that by looking at Munson's career, one got the drift that she wasn't making so much a systemic critique as one about what is funded. This is substantially different from Franklin's position that nothing (contemporary) should be funded"

Munson is describing what she sees as poor funding choices, and relating this to what she sees as a bias on specific panels and administration. She is advocating that this bias should be corrected, not that the NEA stop funding organizations and individuals. Hence, her tenure at the NEH. Hence the mistake you make in touting her arguments and examples as supporting your libertarian take on cultural funding. Being caught up in examples of art and curation that you feel are ridiculous doesn't make much of a case other than to question the particular tastes of the individuals making funding decisions. And if you want to hold panels responsible for their taste, what better way to compare their's to that of the contemporary art world, with which I don't think they're terribly out of sync given all the moaning you engage in around here.

Now before you get into any more of a fit about my "moral standards", why don't you read what I wrote and judge it for that. If by diversion you mean I've pointed out Munson's political connections then you're right. Her work deals specifically with biases of this sort, so why aren't her's a matter for the record? Point out a single statement I've made that is unreasonable or not a matter of fact regarding her conduct and then maybe you'd have a bit of a point.

2.

opie

June 11, 2008, 11:23 AM

The Frazetta page evokes... well, a shudder.

How in hell has art managed to survive?

3.

opie

June 11, 2008, 11:24 AM

Clem you are not sorry about anything. Can it. Get lost.

4.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 12:02 PM

Hence the mistake you make in touting her arguments and examples as supporting your libertarian take on cultural funding.

Show me where I claimed that her arguments support my libertarian take on cultural funding.

Being caught up in examples of art and curation that you feel are ridiculous doesn't make much of a case other than to question the particular tastes of the individuals making funding decisions.

Show me where I even cited examples of art and curation that I feel are ridiculous, much less got "caught up in" them.

...why don't you read what I wrote and judge it for that.

I did, and found that its author believes that genetic fallacy is a valid argument, that association fallacy is a valid way of launching a genetic fallacy...

If by diversion you mean I've pointed out Munson's political connections then you're right.

...and that committing an association fallacy in support of a diversion fallacy merits a serious response.

Point out a single statement I've made that is unreasonable...

Bringing up the method by which Munson obtained her job, which we can assume to be above reproach barring evidence to the contrary, was at least a violation of my guideline to address the writing, not the writer. Pseudonymous commenters who cite Artblog.net guidelines and violate them alternately as it suits them don't have the protection of the guidelines as far as I'm concerned.

5.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 12:44 PM

"However, the openness and transparency described by Clem and Cedric fail to account what happened to the visual art grants at the NEA as described by Munson"

What happened according to Munson, Franklin? Bias and funding for projects she doesn't approve of. Hence her arguments concern how this bias needs to be corrected, not the dismantling of the NEA. In a thread dealing with this latter issue, your constant reference to Munson as if she proves your case is erroneous. Duh!

"Show me where I even cited examples of art and curation that I feel are ridiculous, much less got "caught up in" them"

Are you pulling my leg? You cited Munson, she began the article by looking at at specific examples of which she disapproved. That's what we're talking about. Opie cited Mapplethorpe in that set of posts. You came up with this scenario about NEA funding:

"Whether you're convincing some paper-shuffler at the NEA to fund your pile of construction debris or some paper-shuffler at PepsiCo to fund your pile of licorice, does it matter?"

By focusing on extreme cases, there's a tendency to exaggerate what the NEA generally funds.

Thumbing through your introductory book of logic doesn't help this conversation much. John seems to have agreed that Munson did obtain her job through association. If the fact that this association with Lynn Cheney rings sinister to you, then point out a single criticism I made in my comments about her decisions while at the NEH. What I have stressed, over & over, is that her time at the NEH seems reasonable proof that she hasn't given up on cultural funding.

And your strange reference to the comment guidelines only leads me to wonder if Opie, or maybe even Jack, is in fact Munson... What are you talking about, jeesh!

6.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 12:57 PM

Duh!

My solution to the problems described by Munson is not the same as hers. I never claimed it was. Duh.

You cited Munson, she began the article by looking at at specific examples of which she disapproved. That's what we're talking about. Opie cited Mapplethorpe in that set of posts. You came up with this scenario about NEA funding...

I am not Munson. I am not Opie. The quote you attribute to me was written by Chris. I am not Chris.

Thumbing through your introductory book of logic doesn't help this conversation much.

Violating introductory logic doesn't help this conversation much.

I'll happily clarify my reference to the comment guidelines if you genuinely don't understand it. I know who Jack and Opie are, and neither are Munson. I'm going to go along with Opie on this one: Can it and get lost.

7.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 1:25 PM

You were right about wrongly attributing that quote. But if you're including a link to Munson's text, specifically referencing her text and it's concerns, then you ought to recognize how inflammatory the examples she gives in it are.

Now, How do the following:

"Hence the mistake you make in touting her arguments and examples as supporting your libertarian take on cultural funding"

"In a thread dealing with this latter issue, your constant reference to Munson as if she proves your case is erroneous. Duh!"

Somehow suggest that I've conflated your positions? I'm saying that if you're going to use Munson's examples, you ought to take account of how and why she's making them. And if we're in agreement that they're not being made in the spirit of your brand of libertarianism, then how do her examples or arguments reinforce or support said differing position? You just keep pointing at her book and writing as if they've made the case for you. That's your faulty logic!

"I did, and found that its author believes that genetic fallacy is a valid argument, that association fallacy is a valid way of launching a genetic fallacy...

"...and that committing an association fallacy in support of a diversion fallacy merits a serious response"

Again, you're the one reading into this association. Where have I tainted Munson for this association? Where have I impugned her credentials?

8.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 1:27 PM

Part of that wasn't very clear, it should read:

Somehow suggest that I think you've conflated your positions?

9.

MC

June 11, 2008, 1:57 PM

Sweet lord, Clem the Human Potato just keeps typing! Reading Clem's comments is like watching a suicide-snuff film... FRANKLIN, MAKE IT STOP!

To borrow the charming quote from Thomas Nagel, "It is not always easy to tell how much is due to invincible stupidity and how much to the desire to cow the audience with fraudulent displays of theoretical sophistication."

I much prefer the "Salute the Rough Guys" quote I've got on my T-shirt: Art Is Too Easily Hijacked By Fools And Monsters".

Clearly, Clem is the whole package: both an invincibly stupid fool AND a fraudulently sophisticated monster.

If Clem must keep practicing her typing here, at the very least, she should be disallowed from using words she does not understand the meaning of, like "logic", for instance... Otherwise, I'm gonna move from revulsion to pity, and dammit, I refuse to pity someone as unabashedly loathsome as Clem... I REFUSE, I say!

10.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 2:17 PM

Compare:

But if you're including a link to Munson's text, specifically referencing her text and it's concerns, then you ought to recognize how inflammatory the examples she gives in it are.

And:

Again, you're the one reading into this association. Where have I tainted Munson for this association? Where have I impugned her credentials?

I'm sorry, Clem, but this isn't worth my time.

MC, I don't think of it as stupidity. Cluefulness is information, the ability to switch psychological position, and humility before data. Clem here is mostly missing the second and could use another helping of the third. For instance, the above - apparently I inherit the implications of tone in the article I linked to but she doesn't inherit the implications of tone of the articles she cites at length. But it requires a fair command of data to do this. One of the central themes of the comic project I'm working on is the question of why people ignore data. The tragedy involved isn't so much actual ignorance as functional ignorance, which in some ways is worse.

11.

MC

June 11, 2008, 2:25 PM

If you say so Franklin; me, I find Clem's intellectual dishonesty just plain stupid in its sheer transparency, but I suppose I have the benefit (ahem) of having encountered Clem in real life, too...

12.

Jack

June 11, 2008, 3:56 PM

Franklin, if you can, explain why I (or anyone) should have to wade through reams of certifiable BS, which is both useless and noxious, interminably generated by an anonymous, evasive and highly suspect troll who is grossly abusing your hospitality, taking up way too much space, and can't even refrain from insulting its hitherto very lenient host.

What's Artblog getting out of it? Who benefits from it besides Clam? Why should I read here the kind of bilge that keeps me away from art mags? Why should Artblog provide a free, ready-made platform for someone whose views are the antithesis of what it stands for? Who says we have to accommodate or in any way facilitate pernicious trendy tripe?

Clam can start his own blog or camp out at one which buys what he's selling, but no blog has any obligation to put up with a troll with logorrhea. The jerk is practically manic.

It makes no sense to tolerate this further. Enough already.

13.

opie

June 11, 2008, 4:53 PM

Jack is not Munson. He is not Opie. I am not Jack. I am not Munson. Munson is Munson. You are...

Wait, we're not supposed to do that.

14.

opie

June 11, 2008, 5:13 PM

Hey look:

Now before you get into any more of a fit about my "moral standards", why don't you read what I wrote. What happened according to Munson, Franklin? You are caught up in examples of art and curation that you feel are ridiculous and this doesn't make much of a case. I don't think they're terribly out of sync given all the moaning you engage in around here. Relating this is what she sees as a bias on specific panels and administration, her work deals specifically with biases of this sort rather than to question the particular tastes of the individuals making funding decisions. Munson's political connections need to be corrected If by diversion you mean I've pointed out that she is advocating that this bias should be corrected. Hence the mistake you make in touting her arguments and examples as supporting your libertarian take on cultural funding. Judge it for that. So why aren't her's a matter for the record? Your constant reference to Munson as if she proves your case is erroneous, not that the NEA stop funding organizations and individuals. And if you want to hold panels responsible for their taste, what better way to compare their's to her tenure at the NEH. Point out a single statement I've made that is unreasonable or not a matter of fact regarding her conduct and then maybe you'd have a bit of a point.

Know what that is? Scrambled Clem! I took a bunch ot his sentences and put them in different order. Makes no difference at all. What a surprise!

15.

John

June 11, 2008, 5:16 PM

I don't mind Clem. Rather than saying how he isn't making sense, I simply don't respond to what I can't understand. That limits me to just a few statements here and there. It works for me and he does not seem to mind the limitation this imposes. I wonder what would happen if everyone responded only to that which makes sense and ignored the rest?

16.

John

June 11, 2008, 5:25 PM

Opie's #14 reminds me of Communications from Elsewhere's Pomo text generator.

17.

opie

June 11, 2008, 5:48 PM

Thanks, John. I knew about that but couldn't remember the name.

If we all did what you say it would certainly shorten the thread. But Franklin must be smarter than we are because he seems to understand every little nasty diversion.

18.

Hovig

June 11, 2008, 5:49 PM

What John said. (#15)

19.

19

June 11, 2008, 5:58 PM

But Franklin must be smarter than we are because he seems to understand every little nasty diversion.

It's fucking rocket science, fuck the content, going all out for page views.

Sold out New Modernism for 29 cents.

20.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 6:31 PM

Honestly Franklin, I'm just as confused by your ramblings.

I point out three different sources relating to Munson's tenure at the NEH after her publication of the book and text you cite. Why are these offered? Not to criticize Munson, but to show how mistaken I find your appropriation of her examples and arguments to be. When John said he couldn't get the Salon article to work, I make a joke about the obvious bias of the article and irony given where it is excerpted, and still I'm somehow focusing on her association with Cheney?! I left it to John, and the previous discussion that guys had already had to evaluate Munson's performance. Your selectivity is amazing, why don't you make a case for why you're using Munson's examples and arguments in the first place!

And let's talk about your slippery attacks in that last post. First you say its not worth it to bother explaining what you've quoted from me, only to come out and give your rationale in a snarky aside to MC.

Now how about we give it up with the he said, she said, and address some of my comments about funding? Or are all of those points too nonsensical? : )

21.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 6:32 PM

The problem here isn't making sense, but making an honest argument. Last year I talked with Terry Teachout about this, and we agreed that while it's useful to get into it with people, there's no benefit to playing a game with someone who follows fewer rules than you do. Your game actually becomes worse if you indulge too much in this - it's the old problem of doing battle with idiots.

22.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 6:34 PM

#21 actually crossed #20, although it fits in order there too.

23.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 6:43 PM

Oh so I'm just an idiot, functionally ignorant, dishonest, and oh yeah, functionally illiterate. Now opie just needs to call me too young, not painterly enough, and blind, and we'll have covered all the typical artblog insults!

: )

24.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 6:48 PM

And meanwhile I'm allegedly guilty of ramblings, selctivity, slippery attacks, and snarky asides, and that's just #20. You want to elevate the discussion, Clem, begin anytime.

25.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 6:50 PM

By the way, Clem, I'm not confused about anything you've written. I understand it all, and I find too much of it to be false, fallaciously formed, or irrelevant to merit detailed responses at this point.

26.

Franklin

June 11, 2008, 6:53 PM

I forgot to mention pseudonymously offered in bad faith.

27.

Chris Rywalt

June 11, 2008, 7:18 PM

To discuss the original post:

* * *

I've never thought that conceptual artists wanted to work in advertising, but when I think about it, I realize they already do: They're advertising themselves as artists. Ed Winkleman has said that the sole criterion for whether a person is an artist is whether they say they're an artist. If they do, they are. So conceptual art can be seen as an advertisement communicating "I am an artist," or the artist themselves, as the product. In which case it's not that conceptual artists aren't good enough to work in advertising; they're just selling something different.

I thought the vending machine thing was actually kind of neat. Art? I dunno. But neat.

* * *

Picking Beatriz Monteavaro to illustrate -- or rather as a negative example -- statements in art is perfect, because she's pretty dreadful. The one time I saw her work I thought she should be committed.

* * *

I'm pleased to see that Scott Ewen thinks the commenters are everything that's wrong with art; since Franklin was positive in his writing about Kent Williams, I assume Scott thought he was okay.

I think Kent Williams is fairly cruddy, myself. I have seen this kind of work a million times and it is, in fact, easy, if you spend some time on skills. It's craft, and not particularly inspired craft. Maybe they're better in person.

* * *

I have no idea who Salute the Rough Guys are but that sign annoys me because it's a sentence fragment. The art world, like whatever...is what? Does what? Thinks what? What? But what should I expect from a group or person whose nom de plume is a command phrase?

But, of course, they have a Website.

I've seen art, by the way, hijacked by fools -- a lot -- but never by monsters. I think that'd be rad, actually.

28.

Jack

June 11, 2008, 7:49 PM

Re #21, I'd add that there's neither benefit nor sense in engaging someone who's fractally wrong (either genuinely or opportunistically so). You know the reference, Franklin.

29.

opie

June 11, 2008, 8:18 PM

"Now opie just needs to call me too young, not painterly enough, and blind, and we'll have covered all the typical artblog insults!"

That "too young" insult really withers people, Clem. It's just to cruel to use, even on you.

But unpainterly, and blind - - yes, I use those dire epithets practically every thread, as you so astutely noticed.

Good grief! Are you a visitor to our planet, trying to hone up on language skills??

30.

John

June 11, 2008, 8:21 PM

Hey Clem (#20), you asked "why don't you make a case for why you're using Munson's examples and arguments in the first place!"

The reason is simple. Munson documents many facts that point toward the need for change in that institution. Some may feel the best solution is the ultimate one - disbanding it. Others, including Munson herself, go for the less ultimate solution and want reform. Her facts and her arguments support both courses of action. That said, they are not exhaustive, they are simply relevant.

Saying that the facts are inflammatory is an accurate enough description. But it no way refutes their factuality nor their relevance. Because they are facts they are worth considering.

31.

John

June 11, 2008, 8:38 PM

Chris (#27): Thanks for pointing out the "rough guys" site again. My fave is "Do not confuse advocacy for art". If the art system accepted the truth that lies under it, a lot of the problems in the art scene would begin to work themselves out. Advocacy is important and perhaps even necessary for maintaining a decent society, but it is hardly necessary for art. And when it does come into art, it is just something that can be used (like Cezanne used peaches), rather than the essence.

Some of what the rough guys say is unnecessarily, er, rough. But this one is dead on, and does not self-distract by placing unnecessary emphasis on being provocative - though paradoxically, it probably disturbs some even more because it is so straight to the target.

32.

Clem

June 11, 2008, 9:42 PM

John,

What you're terming "ultimate" sounds more like a cop-out than an appropriate conclusion to reach-- but then my political bias generally sees libertarian solutions in this light!

Regarding inflammatory examples, I think that most audiences would be soothed (and/or snoozed) if they were to go through the entire list of grants for any of the particular years that Munson refers to.

Opie,

It's the inference of blindness that gets to a person. Let's be clear, your aesthetics are as dumbed down as mine, just of a different sort!

33.

MC

June 12, 2008, 12:09 AM

Sorry Clem, "Aesthetics" (like "Logic") is another word off-limits to you, due to your incomprehension of the term. But, by all means, keep practicing your typing...

34.

MC

June 12, 2008, 12:12 AM

"I've seen art, by the way, hijacked by fools -- a lot -- but never by monsters."

Think "Bamiyan Buddhas", Chris...

35.

MC

June 12, 2008, 12:38 AM

RE: NEA, FYI...

36.

Jack

June 12, 2008, 6:23 AM

#32: It's the inference of blindness that gets to a person.

I bet it does.

The truth can be unpleasant, even painful, which often makes it unwelcome, but that never makes it any less the truth. It only makes those who persist in denying it, as if that would change it, all the more pathetic.

As for #23, I hope Clam isn't even remotely implying that OP, or anyone, should change his lexicon to suit Clam's dubious convenience or spare his fashionably delicate sensibilities. That would be just too risible, and Clam is surely not here to make us laugh--at least not intentionally.

37.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 6:39 AM

MC sez:
Think "Bamiyan Buddhas", Chris...

The Buddha statues weren't exactly hijacked by monsters. More like destroyed by jerks. It's a bit different.

38.

Jack

June 12, 2008, 7:11 AM

"Jerks," Chris? I suggest you revise your judgment scale. It seems far too benevolent.

39.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 7:16 AM

I honestly only know what I read in Wikipedia, where the leader of Afghanistan is quoted as saying he destroyed the statues (which he'd earlier endorsed protecting) after some group offered millions of dollars to put towards the statues and not towards feeding hungry Afghans. That action alone makes him sound like a petulant jerk -- although I can understand his reaction.

Even if we go so far as to call the Taliban monsters -- did they really cause more suffering than America in Iraq? -- I still don't think they hijacked the art.

I was thinking more of, say, Cookie Monster using a Jeff Koons piece to sell Mrs. Fields. If such a thing were to happen, that would be monsters hijacking art.

40.

McFawn

June 12, 2008, 12:27 PM

Re: Miamiart quote

Here’s more from the blog over there:

"The main problem with the work in Monteavaro’s exhibition stems from it’s jaded conception and has bled into the execution of the pieces. The work looks obviously cheeky as if to say, “I don’t give a shit”. In the Eighties it would have been radical and original, in the Nineties would be passably subversive, today it is just out right formulaic and art school."

There is indeed a self-destructive jadedness in contemporary art that makes even trying to make good art seem “uncool.” To quote myself from an old blog over at litandart:

"Ultimately, most of the art was making the now-tired point that to be a an artist today one must be hostile to Art–that is, to flagrantly display a disregard for quality, beauty, or discernment. But an artist being hostile to Art seems redundant and dangerous when everything else in society already is. Doesn’t Art need at least artists in its trenches?"

The Oscar Wilde quote (We Are All In the Gutter, but Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars) that supplies the title of Monteavaro’s exhibition seems ironic considering. Wilde’s quote implies that we are all equally debased and lost, but some of us have our sights fixed on something beyond. Miamiart implies that Monteavaro’s work is the opposite--art in the gutter that argues that the stars are no better.

41.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 1:14 PM

I'm so cultured, I thought the title was a Rush reference.

42.

opie

June 12, 2008, 2:25 PM

Thanks for trying to introduce a higher tone, McFawn. We have all been dragged into the gutter around here, corrupted by the inaptly named Clem.

43.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 3:32 PM

Ok, I feel I'm pretty much from the outside and hopefully I don't any bias, but I truly don't understand why people are banging on Clem so much. Apart from the occasional insult which is an activity everybody here has seem to indulged, he made pretty honestr and defendable points. Really, I'm a little surprised.

Jack, I find you personally obnoxious. Half your posts have been about your pseudo-nazi claims that you're the one making sense and that Clem should be thrown out. Give me some substance, please? Remain On Topic.

To come back to some important issue Hovig asked in
a precedent post:

(speaking of smart art centres):

>>>Don't those organizations need to justify themselves to >>>the public at some point?

Their very existence is their justification. First of all, they justify themselves in advance to jurists who give grants for their programmation. To have to tell in advance who's showing and what is proposed. It is assumed that the "jurists" (which change every year) represent the populace. Some jury go as far as invite some people from the general population as part of the decision process.

When that is done, the art centres are free to visit by the population, and they can comment, write to the government, do all they can if they find an artist shouldn't have been selected by a grant. Maybe start by attending the art centre's committee?? Because usually, anyone can get involved. It is a socialist system after all.

Frankly, I don't understand all the bitterness. It's as if the people working in art centres had no clues about what they were doing or tastes in art. Here in Quebec a lot of great art is presented in art centres. Many good artists (presently, David Altmejd is escalating in New York) started in art centres, where they were free to explore avenues like sparsed installation, performance, etc...which isn't happening in secret behind labs: everyone is welcomed to attend. It is only that the process to access to show in these centres is at the same time more open and much more complex than the usual "oh wow I like your objects, can I sell them?" proposed by the commercial gallerist.

I think this discussion is redundant because art centres already made their proof that they can have taste, can select great art, sometimes way in advance of the market (which just ends up recycling it, sometimes even destroying art careers by confining artworks to products).

The focus of art centres after all is to present "interesting" art, almost as an absolute, while a gallerist may sign an artist which is "good" in the ways of niceties (aka, sellable).

If you're going to find me the few art centres mistakes,
that would be unfair. They are mistakes and loose targets everywhere. The danger in art centres is that they must defend the artists prior to the realization of the project. They are aware of the problem, and invented residencies to pare to that.

Art Centres belong to you. Get involved. I get often invited by committe after simply attending an artist's talk. They are interested by passsionate people, and if you are into painting, some art centres are pushing that medium. It's a fallacy to think that it's all conceptual. Things are way too complex these days to reduce art to a few categories.

Cheers,

Cedric Caspesyan

44.

opie

June 12, 2008, 3:43 PM

Cedric: I believe your systm of "art centres" is something quite different from what we have been talking about.

also, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

45.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 3:48 PM

The monks in the middle-ages...It was all art centres.
There was no market then.

Art centres are like little shrines for pure art
research.

The mecdenat is soialist. Have you seen the film
Sicko by Michael Moore? It is a good defense for
socialist systems.

You see, I'm neither marxist nor capitalist, I
like to juggle between both sides, and that's
how it should be, because everyone can find his
or her niche and be happy.

I find the proposition of Franklyn too extremist.
The art funds are very little money compared to so
other things. Even the art market is funded in part
by the public. Rich people have companies that were half
financed by the government. It amounts to the same, Come
On.

Cedric Casp

46.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 3:55 PM

Opie, you had me laugh there, but, since you are an expert in semantics, maybe you can propose me a better term for my insinuations about Jack's eugenistics that I'm sure you grasped at some level? It's hard for me to appreciate reading posts which are constantly about the removal of someone else from a discussion without much bringing to the topic, I think this needed to be called. Sorry.

Are you Catherine?

Cheers,

Cedric

47.

John

June 12, 2008, 3:55 PM

Ah, Goodwin's law (#44). Interesting how the "nasty regulars" are never the ones who bring it to fulfillment.

48.

John

June 12, 2008, 3:58 PM

McFawn, let us hear more from you.

49.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 4:11 PM

Cedric, you should understand that the venom directed against Clem has been building over a couple of weeks over multiple blogs. So just what you've read here isn't the whole story. Also, Jack is ordinarily a polite, intelligent, interesting writer -- in fact, most of the regulars here are. Don't let the past couple of threads poison your opinions of them.

I should note, too, that your wandering, meandering, gallivanting style of posting isn't going to endear you to the readers here. Over at Ed's we've come to appreciate you, maybe, but the standards here are somewhat different. A little crankier, but there are fewer sfaccim hereabouts.

50.

Jack

June 12, 2008, 4:16 PM

For what it's worth, Cedric, till now I've deliberately avoided responding to any of your comments, more out of compassion than anything else (your #126 on the Ron Paul thread almost brought tears to my eyes). However, it appears I may have been overly charitable. Too soft-hearted, I guess.

Still, I suppose you mean well, or as well as you can, but I'm afraid I can't take you seriously. Allow me to suggest, though, that you avoid dubious, tortured adjectives like "pseudo-nazi," and that you definitely avoid asking anyone for substance when yours is of such questionable nature.

In any case, thanks for sharing.

Cheers,

Jack

51.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 4:22 PM

See?

52.

Franklin

June 12, 2008, 4:29 PM

Cedric, I don't cut someone off from conversation lightly. I like disagreement, but I have little patience for intellectual dishonesty. Clem brought up some good points, but if you look at #10 you see what kind of character we're dealing with - someone who excepts himself from the expectations he has for everyone else. As for your thoughts, I appreciate the sentiment behind them - nobody here is against art - but I'd ask you to have a closer look at libertarianism to see where some of my views come from.

McFawn, what John said.

53.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 5:00 PM

Jack,

your generous compassion tells me much about the kind of man you are. It's funny you mention a passage where I delibarately informed about my poor english.
Do you ever travel or merely live in your coccoon?
I do travel a lot and a great portion of artists I meet are people using all kinds of weird gesture to demonstrate what they mean because they probably wouldn't master exigencies such as yours in matters of english.

As far as investing meaning through verbiage, I don't see anything wrong with 126. You're really just being a pricky snot, and I can't wait to read serious criticism coming from you to see how you compare with the lovable stuff auteurs like Kuspit and Finch write, because you're smelling of that tendency that likes to merge eloquent writting with shitty thinking.

Illuminate me, Jack'o Lantern

Cedric Caspesyan

54.

opie

June 12, 2008, 5:09 PM

Cedric I wouldn't call what Jack is advocating "eugenistics", although Clem certainly presents a case for it .

Jack is also neither an artist nor a critic, and he has a very good eye. I would wish him at the art desk of our local newspaper but I'm afraid he would be rather quickly assassinated.

Unlike the Ephesians St Paul confronted, he is simply one who does not suffer fools gladly.

55.

Cedric

June 12, 2008, 5:23 PM

What I meant to say is that behind all Clems' innuendos I can read an opinion that is enticed by an interest for current states of artmaking. I hope that sentiment can read through my opinions as well. As do anything that George can comment.

I feel a lot of ressentiment here about certain trends and currents in art, and some of the threads feel like excuses to attack those trends. Just my 2 cents.

Cedric Caspesyan

56.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 5:31 PM

Jack to me sound like the type of asshole who excell at
claiming that their opinion is probing over the sayings of others, without ever bringing any gratifying testimonies about the topics discussed.

Cut through the mustard, honey, because I've just spotted one giant wiener.

FFS,

Cedric

57.

Jack

June 12, 2008, 5:43 PM

I'm sorry, Cedric, but there's already been far too much time and space wasted on pseudo-Clem to continue that trend with you. Your English, by the way, is not the problem. Of course you don't see anything wrong with 126. That's the problem, or a very good example of it. But never mind.

As for illuminating you, that's neither my job nor my responsibility. I never said I was the shepherd, only that I refused to join the sheep. I suggest you illuminate yourself.

58.

opie

June 12, 2008, 5:50 PM

Cedric, we have had day after day of attacking each other, way left of the guidlines. Let's deal with what is said, not who said it.

59.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 6:09 PM

Hmm, well, I hope you can savour the complete critical nullity that you read into me, Jack, because to me it reads like your self-esteem pretty much depend on that sort of activity.

At your service,

Cedrix

60.

Franklin

June 12, 2008, 6:44 PM

Jack's self-esteem seems to depend on absolutely nothing. I've met him - he's a remarkable man. Maybe one day you'll have the pleasure yourself, Cedric. In the meantime, address the writing please.

61.

Jack

June 12, 2008, 6:46 PM

As I said, Cedric, I don't want a repeat of the "Clem" scenario, but remember I chose to leave you alone until you chose to attack me. I don't savor your "critical nullity" or anybody else's, and rest assured my self-esteem has absolutely nothing to do with you. As for your service, thanks, but I prefer to serve myself. Good night.

62.

Clem

June 12, 2008, 7:05 PM

"we have had day after day of attacking each other, way left of the guid[e]lines. Let's deal with what is said, not who said it"

I'll believe in when I read it! : )

Generally, the regulars seem to have a hard time with accepting differences of opinion. Why is it that I can see art that disinterests me, shows which are uninspired, work which doesn't meet my standards of quality, and yet not take any of these things as a sign of impending doom, of disaster, of dark days ahead? I don't think that a more tolerant approach means that you're any less critical or serious about art. But even the comment about this young artist's show is loaded with a certain puritanism, of which a number of you commented positively. Making a claim that she isn't in fact looking at the "stars", and that you're the ones who in fact have "your sights fixed on something beyond", is a sure sign that you're taking yourselves too seriously. Lighten up, it's one of this young artist's first solo shows. Do you want to share each of your own's first attempt?

The reason this blog doesn't encourage different opinions or attract a wider audience is that many of you take very willful steps to make in as lonely of an enclave as possible. Some of you don't seem to want it to be an open dialog, a more representative cross-section of the arts community. Maybe some of you are too caught up in the exclusivity of thinking you know what quality is, and that you've already thought out the best ways of getting to it.

I'm done with this soapbox for the time being. Anyone want to use it next?

63.

Clem

June 12, 2008, 7:10 PM

Overall,

It would probably be better for most of us to take a personal approach of saying what we like, and trying to explain why that is, rather than trying to make some unprovable theory or metric of quality.

Alright, I'm getting off this box for real!

64.

Cedric Caspeyan

June 12, 2008, 7:12 PM

I'm sorry, the writting has been fully addressed.

I don't see anything remarkable about Jack's attitude and had to attack his gratuity. Please do defend his antecedent as I'm a total newbie here.

Jack: great spirits such as yours often encounter violent opposition by Cedric Mediocrity.

Amazing fellow,

Cedric

65.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 7:20 PM

Say, Franklin, what's remarkable about Jack? And I mean that as a sincere question. He seems groovy and all on the blog here, but I have no idea about him beyond that.

66.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 12, 2008, 7:21 PM

Allright,

Is this a blog where everyone who hate Tara Donovan meet?

Chris? I know you'd have the answer to that.

Cedric

67.

Chris Rywalt

June 12, 2008, 7:41 PM

I don't hate Tara Donovan. I just don't like her artwork. And I don't dislike her artwork enough to go looking for a place where everyone hates it.

However, I'm willing to bet if I did, I'd have trouble doing better than here.

68.

Cedric Casp

June 12, 2008, 8:08 PM

Thanks, Chris. ;-)

Cedric

69.

Franklin

June 12, 2008, 8:35 PM

But even the comment about this young artist's show is loaded with a certain puritanism, of which a number of you commented positively. Making a claim that she isn't in fact looking at the "stars", and that you're the ones who in fact have "your sights fixed on something beyond", is a sure sign that you're taking yourselves too seriously. Lighten up, it's one of this young artist's first solo shows. Do you want to share each of your own's first attempt?

See, this is unworthy of debate. I know Betty (Ms. Monteavaro) and happen to like her personally. Her work isn't my thing for the most part, but neither is she going to suffer much from the comment made about her work on Miamiart. This is far from being one of her first solo shows. She's about as young as I am. I fail to find the us-versus-them sentiment you ascribe to McFawn's comment, which seems like a thoughtful angle on the Miamiart review from someone who knows Wilde better than I do. You claim that the comment is "loaded" - loaded, now - with "a certain puritanism." I find one sentence that says:

Ultimately, most of the art was making the now-tired point that to be a an artist today one must be hostile to Art–that is, to flagrantly display a disregard for quality, beauty, or discernment.

This is against puritanism - that art must be any particular thing - but apparently any statement on behalf of quality, beauty, or discernment qualifies as puritanism in your book, and it expands to fill whatever container it occupies. Your remarks are all overstatement and badly-understood facts and prejudicial reading and seeing stuff that isn't there. And frankly, since you mention it, they're all signs that you're taking yourself too seriously. So by all means, get off the soapbox.

70.

Clem

June 12, 2008, 8:58 PM

How is that quote you chose NOT "loaded", you silly young goat?! Honestly! : )

71.

Franklin

June 12, 2008, 11:38 PM

Honestly? It's time for contrition, Clem.

72.

Chris Rywalt

June 13, 2008, 7:10 AM

Ms. Monteavaro is our age? From her drawings I'd have thought she was a lot older. I don't know why.

73.

300

June 13, 2008, 7:38 AM

Wow this is great. Is Clem real? It is fascinating to see her slither and become shapeless in argument. I am beginning to think that answers are not welcomed. Is that the point? Is "dialogue" the point? Knowledge is clearly not the value here. I have been confused as to what to think Art is. I've read books on the stuff and had plenty of discussions and I am finally beginning to see a pattern- Those po-mo-esques do not have knowledge as the value but discussion as the key to art. "Art is about challenge" they say. The discussion is the point. Is this what Clem is all about?

74.

opie

June 13, 2008, 8:10 AM

300:I mentioned to Franklin a while back that Clem is not engaged in debate for postmodernism s/he is engaged in debate which is postmodernist.

Frankly, I think Clem could make a living as a professional debating foil in law school classes. I have only known only two other people (a lawyer and an insurance agent) who could so easily return reasonable-sounding but completely irrelevant and unresponsive answers in a discussion and at the same time give away absolutely no personal information at all (hence the question, is Clem real?).

75.

Jack

June 13, 2008, 9:47 AM

Tell me, Cedric, do you make a habit of barging into the houses of people you barely know and telling them their furniture is ugly, their appliances are too old, their pets are the wrong species and they're not raising their kids properly? Because, in principle, that's more or less what you're doing here. What, exactly, is such a monumental sense of entitlement based on?

Nobody here owes you anything. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nobody has to justify or defend himself or anyone else to you. What do you have to offer us? Views which we reject, as we have every right to do, regardless of what you or anybody else thinks or feels or believes. And we're supposed to be grateful to you for that? Are you out of your mind?

You say things like "I feel a lot of resentment here about certain trends and currents in art, and some of the threads feel like excuses to attack those trends." So what? Do you expect an apology, perhaps? Do we need to get your approval to resent something, or to attack it, or to to treat it any way we damn well please? Again, are you out of your mind?

76.

Chris Rywalt

June 13, 2008, 10:09 AM

Good morning, Jack, and welcome to the Internet! That perfume in the air? It's coffee, and I guess you finally woke up and smelled it.

Cedric feels entitled to barge in here and tell us the furniture is ugly for the same reason I'm using the word "us," which is that this is on the World Wide Web and publicly accessible. You sound like Harlan Ellison or Andy Rooney yelling at the kids to get off your lawn when there's no lawn and it's not yours.

I don't mean this in a snide or obnoxious way, and I'm not trying to take Cedric's side. I just want to note that this is, in fact, the Internet, and this is kind of what it's all about.

Or, as a wise man once said, "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have the Facts of Life."

77.

Jack

June 13, 2008, 10:23 AM

Thanks, Chris, or is it really Al Gore? Anyway, I suppose I'm just too old-fashioned (you know, like Andy Rooney), and since I would never do on some alien art blog what Clam and Cedric have been doing here, I guess I'm projecting my antiquated notions of propriety onto them. I'm terribly sorry if this has caused you any undue displeasure, but you know how old folks are.

78.

Chris Rywalt

June 13, 2008, 10:26 AM

Well, I wouldn't do what they did, either, except the ability to do that is part of what brings us all together. If these conversations weren't freely available to everyone, I'd have never met Franklin in the first place.

You and I might have our ideas of propriety, but not everyone does. That's why they have vanilla and chocolate -- because vanilla sucks. I mean, because different people have different tastes.

79.

Jack

June 13, 2008, 10:59 AM

Chris, I don't want to add insult to injury by continuing to expose you to my old-fogey notions, but the fact something can be done does not mean it should be done. It never has and never will.

The issue, by the way, is not access or availability or ability to participate, but rather how one chooses to utilize those options, or how one chooses to conduct one's self in a particular setting or context. Yes, there are very different possible approaches to just about anything, but that hardly makes them equivalent.

But I don't want to bore you. I know young people have short attention spans these days, what with all those gadgets and new-fangled inventions. Besides, I have to call Andy Rooney to make sure he remembered to take his medication.

80.

Andy Rooney

June 13, 2008, 11:18 AM

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/20/60minutes/rooney/main662013.shtml

81.

Chris Rywalt

June 13, 2008, 11:57 AM

Don't worry about me, Jack. Like Franklin, I have nerves from steel!

82.

MC

June 13, 2008, 12:00 PM

How a bout Trolls, Chris... they're a kind of monster, right? Surely, they don't have to be suffered with a smile, do they?

83.

MC

June 13, 2008, 12:03 PM

P.S. Hijacking is basically theft, and destruction is theft, made irreversible...

84.

MC

June 13, 2008, 12:09 PM

When my own sculpture was censored out of public view, I very purposely wore my "Fools and Monsters" t-shirt when I was interviewed by the media... the Fool was the Mayor of Edmonton, who in a knee-jerk reaction, bent to the will of the Monsters, who were fundamentalist fanatics bent on denying my legally-enshrined right to free expression...

85.

Cedric C

June 13, 2008, 12:30 PM

Actually, most of the people here I presume know me already from other blogs.

I know artblog since the time it was a miami blog. I was here at the beginnings. At the time, I remember there was an old art teacher whining all the time. Was it you, Jack?

Jack, I like how you diminush other people's participation and intellectual capabilities when what you have to say about art amounts to this type of comment:

===The issue, obviously, is not how realistic or abstract ----(a) work is, or, if the painter happens to be a ---===realist, how perfectly photorealistic it is.
----The issue, always, is how good it is. It's very
----simple, or should be.

Yup. Good art will be "good" art.
And I presume Jack decides?

Why don't you just tag along and write a series of comments that propose my banning from this site, like I saw you do for others (Clem, George). Or did you just started that already?

Cedric

(PS to others: my post 126, which was horrendously written, was grosso modo making the argument that being "good" is never enough to warrant success in the artworld, and there's really no way it could ever be enough, because success rely on critical consensus, which itself is influenced by other criterias than pure aesthetic quality (or skills), such as pertinence to current theory or market trends (some romantically call this "artistic vision"), and curriculum of the artist (YES, curriculum IS rewarded, aka you CAN succeed being unskilled and/or being totally incongruous if you persevere enough...That's because collectors like to stick to artists with a strong body of works, whatever that is).

Quote Du Jour: "Art should be "good"" Hmm....

86.

opie

June 13, 2008, 12:40 PM

Lay off, Cedric. No one is being "banned".If you gave something to discuss, let's discuss it.

87.

Cedric C

June 13, 2008, 12:41 PM

There should be a Godwin's Law equivalent to the use of the Troll tag.

This was a circus of bitches long before I came here.
Stop panicking.

Cedric

88.

Cedric C

June 13, 2008, 12:45 PM

Ok Catherine,

Maybe afterall the choice of Quotes Du Jour wasn't inspiring.

Franklin, I know you can do better than that.

Cedric

89.

post

June 13, 2008, 12:51 PM

Cedric, If you have a point, make it. My name is not Catherine and even if it was it is none of your business.

We've had enough of snide little asides and drive-bys and cutesy put-downs and all that teeny BS. Heated disagreement is what we are here for,not petulant name-calling. The formaer can be conducted without the latter. If you have anything to say, say it. Otherwise can it.

90.

opie

June 13, 2008, 12:52 PM

Sorry for the typo, My name is not "post" either.

91.

Chris Rywalt

June 13, 2008, 1:04 PM

OP, the P doesn't stand for Post? I figured your name was Ontological Post, which sounds like the hero of a Robert Anton Wilson novel. Or maybe Neal Stephenson. No?

As far as trolls go, I find them an important addition to the Internet Discussion Ecosystem. Hardly anyone likes houseflies or maggots, but they're necessary. They're not even really disgusting, if you can get past your built-in bias against decay and death. Your bad feelings are just the result of evolutionary programming reminding you that spoiled meat isn't good for humans to eat.

Trolls are similar. They keep the discussion healthy by moving it along. If you're tired of trolls, you're tired of the topic -- time to move on!

Also, it gives bozos a little exercise. Typing burns calories.

92.

opie

June 13, 2008, 2:52 PM

If you're tired of trolls, you're tired of the topic -- time to move on!

Not really. The trolls never let the damn topic get out into the open air. That discussion about government funding was not hard to break down into clear debating points and it certainly is a debatable topic. But turned into pure jello because Clem, with a little help from some folks who delight in seeing us get flummoxed, kept gumming it up.

Now, I can understand how one might delight in this kind of mischief. I did, when I was a rebellious teenager. But now I just find it boring and irritating.

93.

showing your age

June 13, 2008, 7:43 PM

"I did, when I was a rebellious teenager. But now I just find it boring and irritating."

"In the Eighties it would have been radical and original, in the Nineties would be passably subversive, today it is just out right formulaic and art school."

94.

Chris Rywalt

June 13, 2008, 7:47 PM

Nothing wrong with showing your age. Was it here that someone wrote, "Everyone gets to be young, but only the best get to be old." Something like that.

95.

opie

June 13, 2008, 8:27 PM

Interesting that someone here will make the implicit assumption that everyone will agree that "age" is a bad thing, that it is somehow incapacitating instead of the only chance we have to learn by experience and get smarter.

There's an idea that comes right out of the '60s!

I'm not sure to whom the second quote belongs, but i believe it is one of our younger bloggers...

96.

Cedric C

June 13, 2008, 9:45 PM

Do you mean me?

Because I don't see how I could be described as trolling.

I only described a situation where I saw everyone gangbashing one fellow. I have no idea who is Clem.

People can attack peoples' comments all the time they want. I am just very annoyed by the type of behavior which I witnessed here that I could resume as easy-shot sentances, like "you're too dumb, I'm not even talking to you" or "throw him out, that guy is a fool". I mean, come on. If you find someone stupid, be smart in return. Bring a little something to the conversation.

Now, don't throw back at me what I meant to say since the beginnings. I've done my part, I've said that in
a perfect world art is best enliven when supported by varied systems. I'm pleading for good common sense.

Cedric C

(btw, I have never used anonymous on any blogs, I'm not in a position to care)

(btw2: I'm 36 years old)

97.

Cedric

June 13, 2008, 9:47 PM

I forgot to paste this quite at the beginning of 96

Opie
>>>>with a little help from some folks who delight in seeing us get flummoxed, kept gumming it up.

98.

300

June 13, 2008, 10:16 PM

Cedric said "perfect world art is best enliven when supported by varied system"
but why does one of the supports have to be the government? (Like you and Clem have said. I'm not buying your "ahem" balanced view between Marxism and capitalism...In fact I'm not really convinced you even know what capitalism is) I've read somewhere that that line of thinking is like letting a burglur keep half of your stuff when you catch him and in the process giving him the o.k. to come back again. If it can not stay affloat through the market then why support it? I don't want to open up a can of worms here but look at the education system. It sucks and that it is even with all the money that has been thrown at it for years. Why would it be any different in art? And like Florida and other states that are experimenting, let's just see what happens when you cut the funding. I know that can hurt some in the near future-for that I am sorry-but what will it be like when it is totally market driven? I'm Optimistic

99.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 12:23 AM

What you want is give people with the driving economy
the sole voice as being the expert in defining what is great art. But people who have worked all their lives in other domains have abolutely no clue. Same goes for gallerists. Anyone can start a gallery.

Not everyone can reach scholar expertise, or become an excellent art critic, embodificating a knowledge that can enlighten the populace towards the artists they should be giving attention to.

By inserting a socialist system in te artworld you create an opportunity that forms of art parallel to the marketable becomes nurrished by pure criticism. An art that can evolve through a process of fair knowledge and scholarly research (I hear some of you grind,
but I'm not debating here wrether the current states of art studies are satisfactory). Let's repeat that these funds are very minimal.... Someone once said that a culture who can't afford to pay for its arts is a dying culture..I have a blank, La Rochefoucauld? Something has definitely come out from these approches to art funding than differ from the art market. Fluxus was all about scholar research. I know you all laugh, but it was a good thing for the 60's. People were using art to test very basic philosophical ideas. It had never been done until then. Art was still a Plato's cave. A cinema.

Nevertheless, there will always be people who refuse socialist systems. This is very ok, because it is a political choice and it is very personal. Remember that these systems were never forced upon you, but decided by other people before you. You can still try all you can to have it stop, and I'm encouraging you to do it. That will give us a chance to meet at committees.

But look at the movie Sicko and mesure how the privatization of pharmaceutics is hurting the american dream, all this because some people thought "why should I pay for the medicaments of other people"? You're obsessed by the idea that other people are getting away with it, building careers out of free income. This is really not how it work. Artists who succeed are very happy to quit the grant system (unless they are hard edged into the kind of stuff that will never be sellable, because they have faith that they're doing something important).

The system is not based on making career, it is based on enticing knowledge for the good service of everyone. You are supposed to personally gain from scouting the places where these artistic experiences unfold. That right is never bereft from you. You can even participate, by attending commitees, in the selection or curating of some centers. A private gallery will never invite you to decide what they show in their space !!! You're just trusting too much that the gallery system works out. You refuse to lend trust that Phd scholars with experiences might have another opinion of who should be showing.

Why are people so offended by scholarship?
These people are working out of passion. Critics, writers, teachers, they're at the low economic position on the balance of culture. Money cannot buy culture. The greatest pieces of art history were commissioned for churches, sometimes for kings or more rarely, the public. But they were not neccesseraly "bought". Patronage and buying are too very different things. Patronage is part of the system I refer to above, and a big reason government send money to museums are simply arrangements with patrons ("I'll lend this amount of money if you lend that amount")..but usually the whole process is to permit the public to see art, not to make that the next auction for an artist sells for millions??!! They're doing this for your good. It's your money, sent back as flower bouquets.

Cedric Caspesyan

100.

Cedric C

June 14, 2008, 12:40 AM

I'm sorry to sound like a bitch again, but the problem
with letting the market drive the consensus opinion on good taste, is that you end up with people in high places (big collectors) whose opinion about art is "art should be "good"", which can lead to apocryphal notions that lend every powers to the surfaces of aesthetic.

It's good if it's visually banging.

But even before we embark on greenbergesque suspicions
about the values of the extraneous in aesthetics, there is loads of baggage to simply discuss about the aesthetics per se, which cannot be reduced to mere questions of good and bad (as in "beauty is in the eye of the nostril").

Even on an aesthetic level, you might need to knowledge of experimented people that can delinetate the surfaces in art and demonstrate affects that might not be perceived on first sight by the common collector.

And my stance is that these experts should not live only to advice people with money in acquiring luxurious objects (the market drives a certain topology in artmaking, unfortunately). They should be allowed to receive funds by the general population so they can dig out some information themselves and present them in contexts that are motivated by reseach, or the experience of thinking about art.

You would be amazed at all the secrets hidden in the master paintings that only a few experts were able to extrapolate in publications. Mmost people are clueless, they only see the surface. Meaning is escaping them. But even when you mean pure aesthetics, you are making choices, you are argumenting aesthetically that can lead to tremendous discussions that are not set to happen in a casual art fair.

What you want is destroy all these systems where these passions can occur and unfold. All this to save a few bucks. I find this mighty cheap. People are too much on the urge of survivance these days. There is some dignity to be gained in not being obsessed by questions of money all the time.

Cedric

101.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 12:47 AM

Among the numerous linguistic faux-pas there is one which I insist to correct.

"You are argumenting aesthetics".

Artists are always argumenting aesthetics,
but even moreso those who (utopically) refuse to acknowledge extranuous values in the arts they make.

Thanks,

Cedric Merda

102.

Ced

June 14, 2008, 1:30 AM

Actually, it's perfect if the fund system help to the selection of artists popularized by the market, because at least then the market is being partially driven by intellectual thinking.

But this blog has accused the market to be majoritarely driven by the scholars. I don't agree. There is a lot of
"beautiful objects" in the art market that have little to do with scholarly or any of thinking. I am not against it. I am not against post-cool-post-pop-post-punk-post-blog art. I just don't want to be deprived from the ressources that processes of reflection and thinking can bring. I just don't trust that it can all happen in late afterparties. Life is not always about fun, I respect people with a sense of gravity (which I find lacking in the art market).

But if the scholar works all look the same, this is a different problem. It may be a sign that the market has driven an influence on the scholar, or that aesthetic intelligentsia has reached a status quo.

Maybe your schools are doing bad because people are asked to become superman and superwomen, to become hyper-efficient, instead of trusting the interdependance of systems where everyone is out there to help each other. The art market is proposing similar models. Not exactly promissing.

Cedric

103.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 14, 2008, 1:38 AM

I just want to throw at Franklin the works of Brothers Quay, which is highly aestheticized and have mostly been funded by commissions. I could give plenty other examples:
aesthetic is being touched upon through funds. And no collector would have been able to buy or finance Brothers Quay for a long time. Are they even now? Do rich people go and meet a good artist saying "I'll lend you this money so you can make work cos you're that good"? It used to be that way, but most of the time now it's meat and macaroni.
I'm sorry but I really really need the Quay Brothers. I can't lend it all to happen in the market. I'm an artist and I don't even need the market. We're not all about making oney.

Thanks,

Cedric

104.

opie

June 14, 2008, 4:41 AM

Cedric: it's best to keep it short and to the point.

When you ramble at great length then others ramble at great length and it is not a discussion but a formless cacophony.

105.

Jack

June 14, 2008, 7:01 AM

Been away for a while; looks like it was essentially a good thing. When people start posting five verbose comments in a row, I start thinking about hijacking, and unlike Chris, who's OK with trolls, I have a somewhat different perspective.

No, Cedric, you poor, helpless, innocent, blameless victim, I'm not an art teacher and never have been. And yes, Jack, and only Jack, decides what good art is, as far as Jack is concerned.

But I don't want to take up any more of your time, or waste any more of mine. After all, you have lots and lots more verbose comments to post, unless, of course, all those other blogs require your services.

106.

dude

June 14, 2008, 7:44 AM

I am always amazed at how certain commenters like Clem and Cedric sound in their opinions about how 'open' and pluralist things supposedly are and should be, almost as though it has always been thus. Their certainty usually accompanies an overt enthusiasm for jello world, as-is.

As an artist, I have roughly 5000 years of evidence of excellence in the development of aesthetic traditions around the world to draw on, but I think Clem and Cedric would have me focus squarely on the transgressions of the last 50 years by the establishment. Goya and Rembrandt and Vermeer never show up in Cedric's favourite magazines for a reason. As I see it, that reason has very little to do with the aesthetic.

107.

opie

June 14, 2008, 7:54 AM

When things are comfortably open and pluralistic then there is no accountability, dude. It is easy to see why it is so popular with people who are afraid of putting themselves and their art on the line. Anything goes, and selection becomes a matter of interpersonal relationships and politics rather than standards of excellence.Any stringent, consistent emphasis on quality eventually brings Godwin's "N" word. The battle is as old as human history.

108.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 7:55 AM

Opie, people can go on at whatever length they like if they write clearly.

Cedric, I realize that English is not your first language, but please at least spell-check and do something about the made-up words. It's hard to follow what you're saying.

Secondly, stop talking about my mind as if you know it. What you want is give people with the driving economy the sole voice as being the expert in defining what is great art. You're just trusting too much that the gallery system works out. You refuse to lend trust that Phd scholars with experiences might have another opinion of who should be showing. What you want is destroy all these systems where these passions can occur and unfold. I'm not going to defend myself against your projections.

The system is not based on making career, it is based on enticing knowledge for the good service of everyone.

The system is based on the best intentions; it always is. (We have a saying in English that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.) But first of all, I don't see art as a public good like water. Second, you know as well as I do that winning various kinds of state support is just another way to benefit your career. Just because an artist has government support doesn't mean that his artistic intentions are pure. Just because an artist has the support of the market doesn't mean that his intentions are tainted.

...the problem with letting the market drive the consensus opinion on good taste, is that you end up with people in high places (big collectors) whose opinion about art is "art should be "good"", which can lead to apocryphal notions that lend every powers to the surfaces of aesthetic.

This is exactly what doesn't happen. The YBA phenomenon was one of the least aesthetic phenomena in art history and it was driven by a single rich collector. People like the Broads and the Rubells are not buying contemporary Impressionism. The idea that only state patronage stops collectors from basing their acquisitions on surface aesthetic is so absurd that it's insulting to suggest it. This makes me wonder if you connect art that doesn't aspire to visual quality to the public good. I see this attitude frequently reflected in museum shows, and I think it links a mistake to a pale justification.

It's your money, sent back as flower bouquets.

It's my money, sent back as construction debris.

109.

opie

June 14, 2008, 8:07 AM

You have more patience than I do, Franklin.

Clear and short would do wonders around here.

You may have noticed that the smart people tend to write shorter entries anyway, except, of course, when they are answering the jelloheads.

110.

SYA

June 14, 2008, 8:22 AM

"5000 years of evidence of excellence in the development of aesthetic traditions around the world"

And the poor examples of NEW MODERN art fit comfortably with tradition! How blind can you be!

111.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 8:32 AM

Although I can't wait to apply "circus of bitches" to something. That's fantastic.

112.

Chris Rywalt

June 14, 2008, 8:45 AM

Jack sez:
...unlike Chris, who's OK with trolls...

Cedric's not a troll, though. He's something else entirely. And verbose! My god how verbose.

113.

dude

June 14, 2008, 9:51 AM

SYA: My point is, and you've just affirmed it, that commenters like yourself obviously don't even know what you're looking at in the first place. You have serious blinders on, and it is your prejudice, not the ones you detect in new modernism that conflate the discussion. I am not in agreement about some of the 'nominees' but that is rather beside the point. New modernism is just a starting point to locate real aesthetic concerns. Circa 1950, everything that VISUAL artists (Duchamp and the rest OBVIOUSLY do not have the same motivations and for now I have to endure the consequences of this windbag history everywhere I go...except artblog on a good day) had been building on for 5000 years suddenly became a suspect ideologically burdened problem. That's bullshit and nothing more needs to be said about it.

"If I can't dance, it's not my revolution.' - Emma Goldman

114.

opie

June 14, 2008, 10:11 AM

SYA is just a drive-by, Dude. There's no conviction there, just a need for a little anonymous minislam.

115.

SYA

June 14, 2008, 10:55 AM

"real aesthetic concerns"

Yeah, I bet the tradition of art agrees that someone like Jules or colorfield in general have much to do with their concerns! That's why their work produced as much contemporary outrage as someone like Duchamp's!

116.

Chris Rywalt

June 14, 2008, 11:21 AM

Dude isn't Opie? Who is Dude? I mean, I thought Dude was MC or Opie or one of the other regulars. Is Dude someone else?

I'm confused. I have a busy day today, which may explain it. Or I could just steal Franklin's phrase and say that today I'm not intellectually rigorous.

117.

opie

June 14, 2008, 11:50 AM

Opie comments only as Opie, Chris, and dude does not sound like MC. Maybe dude is new. I hope Dude keeps commenting.

SYA what are you talking about? What "contemporary outrage"? About Duchamp?

If you have a point to make, make it.

118.

Chris Rywalt

June 14, 2008, 12:12 PM

I know you've slipped and posted as someone else a couple of times, and I thought maybe Dude was you, making a joke. Or something. Not that you were really trying to hide or anything.

119.

opie

June 14, 2008, 12:28 PM

No, the only time that happened was when I put "post" by mistake in #89.

In the past I have used a different alias as an obvious joke once in a while but very rarely. I have nothing against it, I just don't do it.

120.

Cedric Caspesyan

June 14, 2008, 12:32 PM

Dude
---Vermeer never show up in Cedric's favourite magazines for a reason.

It's somewhat philistine to reduce Vermeer or Goya to mere aesthetes.

I have seen nearly all of the Vermeer in person since I'm a little fanatic
of the painter myself (I have a map here of the collection
of my visits). Call me amateur, but don't attempt to pigeonhole my tastes.

Aesthetics is at least 50 per cent of the job in all arts. How can you return
my comments with such easy shot when I've just said that every arts are
argumenting aesthetics?

Opie
-----Any stringent, consistent emphasis on quality eventually brings Godwin's "N" word.

I love "the way" people here insist upon quality writting on this blog.
That's as much an easy shot as calling for "nazi".

Franklin:

-----Just because an artist has government support doesn't mean that his artistic intentions are pure.

It's not even about the intentions of the artists, but the intention of the art.

----YBA phenomenon was one of the least aesthetic phenomena in art history

Hmm...The butterly works by Hirst are very aesthetic, though I'm not one to usually defend Damien(!).
Chapman have worked extensively on aesthetics. It might be abject, but it's not debris.
Have you seen some of their major installations? But that's beside the point.

YBA's art were not usually arts that demanded time and reflection. It was using
a strategy of provocative aesthetics to convey in-yer-face messages. I wouldn't
call it cul-de-sac conceptual. Sarah Lucas was probably the strongest case for
anti-aesthetics, but it was pertinent. Let's not confuse aesthetics with quests for
Beauty when Goya has just been examplified as being an aesthete. Some
machiavelic subjects simply need another aesthetic angle, and YBA was all
about exploring those.

-----only state patronage stops collectors from basing their acquisitions on surface aesthetic

I never said "only". I'm not even promoting a status where all aesthetics are lowered down
I'm only pleading for a variety of the influences. There's always been collectors "with an eye"
who bought whatever they wanted, and others who welcomly received influences from extraneous
criticism (say, the Church). I am only pleading that it remains the same, that criticism can keep
a foot in the debate of good taste, otherwise I'm afraid the artworld is heading toward serious
issues of tackyness (roccoco is in trend right now).

Opie

----------smart people tend to write shorter entries

Does being smart amounts to being a nasty little bitch?

-----There's no conviction there, just a need for a little anonymous minislam.

121.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 12:48 PM

First you were protesting that the loss of government support would result in a collector-driven preponderance of "surface aesthetic," and now you're warning us not to "confuse aesthetics with quests for Beauty." You figure out what you're talking about and we'll talk about it. And do me a favor - if you can't make your point without calling someone a bitch, go find something else to do with your typing fingers.

122.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 12:49 PM

-----There's no conviction there, just a need for a little anonymous minislam.

123.

opie

June 14, 2008, 12:54 PM

And do something about the formatting of your comments. You do not need all that extra space. Write it normally, like everyone else does.

You really are not making much sense, Cedric. I am not saying that to be "bitchy". You just don't make much sense.

124.

CEDRIC

June 14, 2008, 1:04 PM

I won't do you favors, Franklin, and I don't demand favors, just ban my contribution or ignore it.

Indeed, aesthetics is the study of every sensorial values, it does not pertain to desiring the beautiful.

YBA was a surface-driven movement, It was in large part aesthetic, that is what I'm pointing out. Damien and Lucas may have galored their Duchampian moments, but most artists of the YBA were exploring abject aesthetics, or similar tension between abject and beauty.

Dude:

-----5000 years

The best work of art in 5000 years was probably Easter Island (don't judge by the photographs), and that
was hardly having anything to do with aesthetics (or not so self-consciously).

If you're obssessed with statements such as "mirror mirror, tell me that my art looks better", I'm afraid you're loosing the opportunity to let your art reach into other realms of the living experience.

Cedric

(somehow a comment meant toward Opie couldn't translate, maybe because it was using some Ascii formulation, but indeed I should do better things with my fingers than attemot to reply to trash comments)

125.

Cedric C

June 14, 2008, 1:13 PM

It's the plea for pure aesthetic values that doesn't make much sense.

I get the impression that the people who fight for it have lost every other notions of sensibility.

dreadful times for poets,

Cedric

126.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 1:15 PM

Who is pleading for pure aesthetic values?

127.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 1:22 PM

Some of the recent commentes.

Your old article about the Aegean Center is suspicious but
that comment wasn't addressed at you, Franklin.

Cedric

128.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 1:25 PM

Who then? Show me where someone pleaded for pure aesthetic values.

129.

opie

June 14, 2008, 1:40 PM

Yes. Please be specific. If you make an assertion support it. Or get lost. And fix the damn format.

130.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 1:47 PM

It's beside the point. Your claim that you wish the art market to dominate the choices regarding the success of artists WILL favor pure aesthetic values.

It will never be ONLY this, it will only FAVOR it.

A varied system could offer different perspectives on artmaking an equal favoritism.

As I said previously, I don't agree that anti-aesthetics are favorited these days. I think that there's place for everyone, and that Vincent Desiderio WILL get his museum retro too.

Cedric

131.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 3:07 PM

Oh, it's beside the point now.

Your claim that you wish the art market to dominate the choices regarding the success of artists WILL favor pure aesthetic values.

Show me where I claimed that I wish the art market to dominate the choices regarding the success of artists.

132.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 3:24 PM

Where, here's one, from the context of your request that funds should be stopped:

The art market could stop following government imprimatur, which is what a publicly-funded museum show is, and instead follow what individual people want to preserve. This would tend to be bad for intellectual fashions because they could cycle out, like all fashions, instead of becoming permanently enshrined in the museum

By individual I presume you mean collectors. Interestingly, I find that even in the contexts of funds, intellectual trends die out, while some tradition in the art market are very enduring. Example, the authority of abstraction.

Cedric

133.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 3:27 PM

The italics are wrong, the last paragraph was mine.

Cedric

134.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 3:27 PM

Oy. Hold off from commenting for a moment... Okay, resume. Cedric, be sure to preview please.

135.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 3:47 PM

Individuals could create alternatives to the market themselves by forming foundations, granting entities, even museums. The new ICA in Boston, for instance, is completely privately funded. The choice isn't between government support and the collectors. And it looks rather like the ICA has a broad program that doesn't favor any aesthetic, much less a "pure" one, whatever that might mean.

136.

Cedric C

June 14, 2008, 4:29 PM

Allright, a nice example.

So it's really just an issue where you don't want to give a penny fordward the developmemt of similar resources.

I'm afraid foundations such as ICA, DHC (in Montreal) or what used to be DIA are far and between, though.

The Boston ICA, which I know well, do receive visiting shows which are government funded. I don't find that they've been an atrocious difference to the standards of the programmation.

Cedric

137.

dude (was roy but it had to go)

June 14, 2008, 5:07 PM

Sorry, I meant to clarify the moniker change.

138.

SYA

June 14, 2008, 5:43 PM

It seems to me that abstract artists really want to work in realist styles, but just aren't good enough!

139.

MC

June 14, 2008, 6:16 PM

It smells in here. Maybe I'll check back later to see if the air clears...

140.

John

June 14, 2008, 6:18 PM

Yes MC, artblog seems to have caught something rather serious lately. My guess is it will get over it, but it may take a while.

141.

Cedric C

June 14, 2008, 6:27 PM

Yeah, let's finally address these quotes du jour, dammmit:

>>>>"It seems to me that conceptual artists basically want >>>to work in advertising, but aren't quite good enough."
David Thompson.

Tell that to Ben Vautier. A lot of current trends in advertising were influenced by conceptual arts.

>>>>"If you really want to make a statement, make good art." Miamiart.

Yes ok, I'll bite. But sometimes it helps to have a good statement before you start making art.

>>>>>"These people represent everything that is wrong with the art world." Scott Ewen, on Artblog.net.

It's bizarre that the quote is attacking Chris Rywalt when he's one of the more down to heart participant here. It's also ironic that this blog generally shares the opinion that everything is wrong with the art world. Maybe it is the name "Artblog" which can sound presomptuous to the ears of the passerby, but that didn't have to mean that the discussions were reflecting the epithet. I mean, do they?

>>> "The art world, like a mean and bullying little fat girl." Salute the Rough Guys.

Sounds like he meant "bitch". Hmmm...

I'm sorry, I'm just not a negativist. Negativity such as emanating from these quotes nurrish loneliness and bad karma.

Cedric C

142.

Cedric

June 14, 2008, 6:41 PM

[Editor's note: Please look at the guideline that says, Even the most opposed factions in the art world still agree that art is important. Begin with that basis and respect other commenters accordingly. Abusive remarks, taunts, boorish language, and the written equivalent of behavior that would get you punched out in a bar will be deleted. Also, please note that this is not Edward Winkleman's blog and the platform is not Blogger. We have a whole different ethos going on here, and I can make this site do anything. - F.]

143.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 7:07 PM

So it's really just an issue where you don't want to give a penny fordward the developmemt of similar resources.

Really the issue is that allowing individuals to decide for themselves how to use their resources is more compatible with liberty than taking their money and spending it for them.

144.

Cedric C

June 14, 2008, 7:36 PM

Allright Franklin, since you have preferences on who here should have the right to insult other participants or present forms of disrespect, please provide the address of MC's blog so I can go tell them in their face what I think.

"Liberty" is one febrile political terrain that you're embarking on, especially when attempting to attach the term with economic figures. No one has taken money from you. These decisions are voted for. When you don't tolerate the decisions of your society, and can't seem to find the power to deasses them, you can always opt for exile.

I'm afraid Artblog could not ever reach the powers
that could influence the decisions we are debating, because many of its participants haven't quite learned yet basic notions about about what it means to live in a social sphere. Disrespect is not servicing. Your side lost, man, get on with the program.

Cedric C

Cedric

145.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 7:42 PM

Allright Franklin, since you have preferences on who here should have the right to insult other participants or present forms of disrespect, please provide the address of MC's blog so I can go tell them in their face what I think.

I prefer the commenters who spell better, avoid foul language, don't bloat my threads with rambling and needless whitespace, and prefer to discuss ideas rather than other commenters. You're hardly one to talk about disrespect.

146.

Cedric C

June 14, 2008, 7:57 PM

Discuss ideas?

This is the secret society for the cult of Ayn Rand !

Admit it !!

Cedric

147.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 8:12 PM

Needless whitespace removed courtesy Emacs. What an awesome program!

148.

opie

June 14, 2008, 8:56 PM

Cedric, please just leave..

149.

Franklin

June 14, 2008, 9:17 PM

He's gone.

150.

Chris Rywalt

June 14, 2008, 11:26 PM

I would just like to note, for the record, that I despise Ayn Rand's work and the whole Objectivist ethos.

I do agree, somewhat, with Cedric's contention that pure market-driven art is a bad idea. In theory -- in theory -- government funding could help art which has no profit motive but is still good. In practice, maybe it doesn't work. So few things do.

I tend to feel that a lot of people are mentally handcuffed by the capitalist system we're stuck with. It's very, very hard to imagine a way out of it that isn't warped by its gravity. It seems to me that even socialists and communists end up cooking up a sort of capitalism-for-the-people rather than something entirely new. So when someone like, say, Franklin, starts casting about for a basically optimistic, positive way of running things, the market looks like a good fit -- better than the alternatives.

But I'd like to think there's something better out there. I can't imagine it, but I like to imagine, at least, that someone can.

151.

opie

June 15, 2008, 5:16 AM

To paraphrase Churchill, Chris, Capitalism is a terrible system, but all the others are worse.

the basic problem - all fancy theorizing aside - is that freedom means capitalism. If you allow people to do what they want within a fair system of law they will work for their own advantage. Some form of Capitalism is inevitable. I don't "believe" in Capitalism, but I do believe in letting people do what they want, and I expect you do too.

152.

MC

June 15, 2008, 6:17 AM

Of course, one thing that makes Capitalism better for sure is Socialism, though extremes of either are dangerous, also for sure. I'm no "Libertarian", and no Ayn Rand admirer, also for sure. But, it's best to stay away from politics on Artblog.net, and just stick to the art, also for sure...

I know what you're thinking: "That MC, he's so damn SURE of himself... smug bastard."

153.

opie

June 15, 2008, 7:30 AM

The best "ism" of all is having good people running the government. There's no guaranteed way to make that happen, unfortunately. If there was then monarchy would be by far the best system.

I don't want to revive the public money for art debate but I did watch the art endowment go downhill and it was all a matter of the quality of the people running it. When I was involved it was halfway through its decline and the mostly very good people I worked with were stuck with a number of bad structural decisions made earlier. They had to work with this, and any bad decision they made was stuck on the next people.

This is how systems decline, and why they have to be regularly renewed.

154.

MC

June 15, 2008, 7:49 AM

Hmmm... "King Kucinch" does have a nice ring to it (and god damn if the picture of the queen on US money wouldn't look better than the queen on Canadian money!)

155.

Chris Rywalt

June 15, 2008, 8:27 AM

I didn't have much of an opinion on Kucinich one way or the other, but I read that just the other day he introduced articles of impeachment against King George, and I

156.

MC

June 15, 2008, 8:36 AM

... am speechless? Or, were you implicated as well, Chris?

157.

SYA

June 15, 2008, 9:10 AM

"mostly very good people"

So what you're saying is that if someone shares your same taste, they're qualified to do the job, huh? Can you give decent examples of people who's opinions about art run contrary to your own, who you still respect to make funding decisions? I doubt it!

But back in tha day...

158.

MC

June 15, 2008, 9:20 AM

Please, don't be foolish, SYA: nobody shares the same taste. Everyone's taste is individual, or else it it not taste.

159.

opie

June 15, 2008, 10:10 AM

I guess you are trying to be provocative SYA, but it seems rather deliberate and flat. Like most hostile drive-bys you make assumptions about motive and then proceed to misrepresent (and apparently misunderstand) what was said in the first place, which means that you have to be corrected, which further means that you either pay no attention to the corrections or misunderstand these in turn, and we are right back to Clem all over again.

The "good people" I worked with were not people who shared my taste. Henry Geldzahler is an excellent example (although he preceded my at the endowment). I had no use for at least half the artists he liked, but - as outlined in Munson's book - he and his associates set up a very fair, prudent, judicious system of awards back in the 60s.

My time was about 10 years later, and even though that was 35 years ago and half of the people are dead now I will not name names. A lot of them were bureaucrats who claimed no taste in art at all - their interest was in how the countury was represented culturally. But they were good people, for the most part who work with the inevitable disappointments and idiotic upper-level decisions of appointed officials.

If you want to provide an oppositional platform, try to figure out what you want to say and plan your attack before you shoot your mouth off.

160.

Chris Rywalt

June 15, 2008, 10:53 AM

...and I paused mid-sentence to answer the phone and when I came back, my half-finished thought had been posted. Or...maybe it was a Clintonian conspiracy!

Anyway, all I wanted to say was, I decided I liked Kucinich right there.

161.

John

June 15, 2008, 10:56 AM

Another new-mo, Scott Bennett:

FIRE SIGN

EDO

162.

opie

June 15, 2008, 11:33 AM

Wow that EDO is some weird painting! Looks like an alien still life. Very original color.

163.

Chris Rywalt

June 15, 2008, 1:55 PM

Bennett, the name, reminds me of Peter Barrett, who I think was posting on Artblog a little while back. I really like his latest work, which he's calling "reliefs." I saw a couple of them in person in a group show a while back. I never wrote about them, although I wanted to. I may yet. I can't say I was emotionally blown away by them, but I really liked them -- they're decorative, but in the good sense: original, striking, pretty. Well-made. Intriguing. Fun.

164.

John

June 15, 2008, 3:13 PM

Barrett certainly does not show the reckless disregard that we see in Bennett. Quite the opposite. Barrett is quite tight.

Bennett's reckless disregard flirts with creating a mess, Barrett's tightness flirts with creating a doodle. Mess and doodle are the Scylla and Charybdis of abstract painting (abstract sculpture too, perhaps).

165.

opie

June 15, 2008, 4:19 PM

Mess and doodle are the Scylla and Charybdis of abstract painting

Very good.

166.

Chris Rywalt

June 15, 2008, 4:47 PM

I like that formulation, too. It sounds about right, and Bennett and Barrett are good opposing sea monsters.

I'd say that any non-academic, non-realist painting has to navigate between those two; cf. my notes on Matisse on that other thread. If you're willing to mix in painters like Sargent, too, then even portraitists and realists deal with the beasts.

167.

300

June 15, 2008, 6:58 PM

from what I understand (through reading Ayn Rand) a pure Capitalism has never existed and any problem in it can be traced to government hands. She is not liked and I would like to know why(any chance I can get to correct my thinking is always welcomed, since I am a strong believer of her writing) Has anyone read "What Art Is the aesthetic theory of Ayn Rand"? Or her Romantic Manifesto? uh....damn how do I link this to the topic?.......uh. ....uh oh yeah there are many quotes in her books(?)

168.

opie

June 15, 2008, 7:14 PM

I've never read Rand so I have no opinion but I know about her and her writing & would like to know what she said about art.

These thinker/writer people are usually full of baloney when it comes to art. Art usually gets put in the service of their particular point of view.

169.

John

June 15, 2008, 8:12 PM

Adherence to "reality" seems to provide a discipline that helps most artists avoid both the mess and the doodle. I'm sure there are exceptions.

What can be very exciting about abstract painting is one that comes very close to one or the other "monster" and does not get nailed by it. Olitski's "orbs" and other late painting provide good examples of reckless disregard that got very very close to the mess monster, yet at the same time stayed very very far away. Paul Klee was a doodler who, sometimes, anyway, escaped the doodle monster, though he was a realists of sorts. Late Mondrian could be looked at as flirting with the doodle monster.

Between Bennett and Barrett, Bennett escapes his monster more cleanly than Barrett.

170.

SYA

June 15, 2008, 8:23 PM

Those paintings look like bad photoshop experiments.

Almost as bad as using old greek myths to come up with silly absolutes...

171.

Franklin

June 15, 2008, 10:08 PM

And the winner is: baloney. I read some Rand in high school. I haven't felt tempted to revisit her. There's some intersection between Randian Objectivism and libertarianism but most libertarians who talk about her do it with a measure of distance.

Sya seems to be trying to hurt our feelings or something. I wonder if he thinks if he's the first. Okay, I'm done wondering.

172.

300

June 15, 2008, 10:21 PM

Opie what I find interesting about Rand's art writing is that she never seperates art's relationship with the other branches of philosophy i.e. life itself, yet arrives to her theory through an order of each of those branches. So that her beginning to explain does not start with any preknowledge of other writers artspeak, but truly a beginning in philosophy...i mean real beginning. She has the big five in an order; Metaphysics, Epistemology,Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics. Everything is related. What ever answer you come to about existence..."Life is unkowable, chaotic...etc or life is rational etc.(Metaphysics) your art will reflect that. Her definition (gasp!) of art is; the re-creation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value judgements. I realize that she is controversial and that is why I'd like to make an informed study on her theory-because it seems so right and I would like to check it against other minds for leaks. Any how here is a link to the T.O.C. of that book.
http://www.aristos.org/editors/contents.htm

173.

Franklin

June 15, 2008, 10:54 PM

Rand didn't regard abstraction as valid. I can't get down with that. She has the advantage of writing more clearly than most art critics (which doesn't say much), but her ideas seem to have thoroughly compromised her tastes. The About page for Aristos states their belief that "the concept of art (in the sense of the traditional fine arts of painting, sculpture, literature, music, and dance) can, and ought to be, objectively defined." I would point to that as a major leak.

174.

Chris Rywalt

June 15, 2008, 11:55 PM

It's been years and years since I argued with any Objectivists and in the meantime I have to admit I've forgotten a lot of my points. Time was, way back, when I actually liked some of what Rand had to say; but then I repented. These days I just have a placeholder in my head reading "Objectivism stupid, Objectivists objectionable." I don't know if it's intellectual laziness or what, but there are times when I store the conclusions without the supporting data.

What I do remember is that a major tenet of Objectivism is "A is A," which is clearly crap, since the word "is" has no operational value.

175.

300

June 16, 2008, 12:22 AM

Franklin I am not sure what you mean. I am not quite clear on abstraction. What is it exactly? I mean can we break it down so that it isn't a mystery? Yeah, I can be that naive. Chris I can't possibly even come up with a reply for you. If that is a way to explain this then yeah I am a stupid Objectivist. Thanks for the help.

176.

opie

June 16, 2008, 5:05 AM

If that is her "definition" of art, 300, I would say it confirms my suspictions. Another thinker type who doesn't need to look at art to judge it.

Franklin, I think you can fairly zap Cedric off the blog on the basis of the formatting and phony quotations. I have certainly had enough. Tolerance has its limits. [I agree. - F.]

177.

300

June 16, 2008, 6:07 AM

I really want to understand. So don't mind my naive questioning. What does your suspicion mean about her being a "thinker type" that doesn't need to look at art? Aren't we all thinker types? Does the act of looking have its own seperate realm divorced from our minds? We all think(even Cedric). Let me also ask is abstract art something we learn to look at? For example, when we read we are not necessarily aware of the words, but are very aware of what they do. When we listen to music-all of it is taken in with out much awareness of its individual structure and finally when we look at representational art we react to the object re-presented. It seems like "shop-talk' when we discuss the actual paint. As artist we are concerned indeed with our methods, maybe like writers discussing their craft-but all of it seems geared toward making coherent understandable re-presentation of our sensory experiences. (?)

178.

MC

June 16, 2008, 6:20 AM

"Aren't we all thinker types?"

Maybe, or maybe not... here's a quiz to find out.

"...when we look at representational art we react to the object re-presented."

So, when you look at a Cezanne, you have a reaction to apples? Somehow, I doubt this...

179.

opie

June 16, 2008, 6:23 AM

"...geared toward making coherent understandable re-presentation of our sensory experiences."

Yes and no, or, perhaps, in a way. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The proof of art is in the experiencing. You don't decide anything about art by thinking unless the thinking is directly related to experience and points back to experience. Theory is basically just chaff.

Whether you have to learn to like abstract art depends on whether you have learned that visual art should be representational. I saw a Ben Nicholson in a roto magazine when I was 11 and fell in love with it. I have a graduate student who saw an Olitski in a museum when he was 8 and decided he wanted to spend his life doing something as good. We all accept the most abstract art - music - without "realistic" sounds in it. It is a matter of conditioning. And even when you instinctively like abstract art you have to sometimes learn to like what is best; it took me years to realize how good Hofmann is.

Yes, it is "shop-talk" when we talk about paint, and you are right, it is all aimed at something singular, but that singular thing is beyond verbal language. Like food, we can talk about it all we want but words are not nourishment.

180.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 6:25 AM

300, What Opie meant by "thinker-type" is someone who thinks that you can think your way through art. Art involves perception and felt responses, and people who think they can hammer it down logically once and for all are going to arrive at absurdities. What Rand is calling abstraction is her own unfortunate coinage. I mean abstract art, and it defines it well enough to say that it's art that uses shapes instead of recognizable images.

181.

opie

June 16, 2008, 6:37 AM

I don't know about that test, MC. It has me as a sweet, friendly, cooperative non-judgmental kind of guy. I said ...what?

182.

MC

June 16, 2008, 6:54 AM

Sounds like maybe your browser's not working right, opie...

183.

opie

June 16, 2008, 6:58 AM

Yes. This could kill my rep around here.

184.

300

June 16, 2008, 7:15 AM

Its worth reading What Art Is..it is a critique on her philosophy of art and talks about these things way better than I can. I like it because it seems to give more to just experiencing art. If may give insight as to identifying and judging that experience. As an aside I know that her gripe with her bastard child Libertarianism was the lack of morality in its system. As Libertarians we usually have a social tolerance with what ever it is we do. She did not like that at all. Morality was paramount. This is why she detested the pigeon brained liberals. I think that she wanted to like the conservatives, but blasted them for being cowards at defending themselves because of their secret desire to be liked by those liberals.(McCain) I can understand that. Liberals are usually much sexier! I gotta go to sleep

185.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 7:20 AM

Okay, I'll bite. What's a "roto magazine"?

186.

opie

June 16, 2008, 7:42 AM

At my age I am full of references that are no longer recognizable. When I was a kid newspapers had inserts on Sundays called "roto sections" (rotogravure) for color features - comics, human interest mags, etc. It was the dark ages in terms of color reproduction.

187.

opie

June 16, 2008, 7:50 AM

300, I find it interesting to talk about what might be coming through that art experience, why we think it has value.

Is there anywhere on the internet that describes or reprints any of her esthetic philosophy?

188.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 8:15 AM

With regards to Matisse's 'sloppiness'...

Matisse taught art and studied from the model for many years. The grace, economy, and beautiful sense of design that he achieved was due to years and years of dedication to the visible world and hard work. Artful sloppiness, a la the whole graffiti aesthetic and the school of bad painting (translated as good painting by the critical powers that be) is the product of opportunism and willful neglect of intelligence and skill.

189.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 8:25 AM

Roto magazine? OP, you must be nine hundred years old. I've never heard of anything like that!

300, sorry if my comment can't be part of a discussion. It's just that way with me and good old Ayn.

Ayn Rand's aesthetics are discussed in this rather large PDF from a journal on Rand and Objectivism. I think. I'm not too clear on where it comes from, exactly, because I haven't looked at it in detail yet, and may not bother.

190.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 8:33 AM

Chris I wouldn't bother. She is a terrible terrible novelist and I am baffled by the endurance of her reputation. A Libertarian math teacher at my school loves her work.

191.

opie

June 16, 2008, 8:41 AM

Thanks for the reference, Chris. Yes, sometimes, like Methuselah, I feel like 900.

Rand touches a nerve in a lot of people, one way or the other.
I will check the document and see what i think

Eric, that "sloppiness" is part of his genius. I am always amazed how he can put a masterpiece together from undistinguished parts. Picasso, when he was mediocre, was just the opposite: beautifully crafted bad pix. Of course in later years he did pix that were bad through and through

192.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 8:41 AM

Thank you, Eric, for bringing us back to a much more interesting topic (for me, anyway).

I had to re-read your comment a couple of times to really grasp what you're trying to say. I think you're contrasting what I called Matisse's "sloppiness" against what you might call "true sloppiness" -- the laziness and cupidity of the graffiti movement and others -- of which you do not approve.

I read your article on Artnet and I thought it was really interesting (although, as usual, I did find it odd that you spent so much time in description of the paintings -- but I think you do that only when you like them). I like the idea of starting a school just to get free studio space.

I didn't mean to suggest that Matisse was sloppy in a bad way, the way a lot of so-called artists can be. I didn't know that Matisse "trained" as hard as you make it sound, but I didn't think he was some kind of bumpkin, either.

When I think of his sloppiness, though, I'm thinking almost purely of his hand, his brushstroke, which is something I'm not sure can be controlled that much. I think it's something an artist is, to an extent, born with. Like a fingerprint. I mean, some people have the steady hands of a brain surgeon, and some tremble.

Matisse's strokes always seem tentative to me. I think in Clifford Irving's Fake Elmyr says that, in order to forge a Matisse, he had to be less assertive, because Matisse's lines weren't as confident as Elmyr's own. I can feel that.

No bad judgement attaches to that. In fact what I was trying to say was I wonder if that might be part of what makes a Matisse painting great.

193.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 8:51 AM

I thought we approved of actually describing and looking at the work itself around here but I guess not. Matisse is such a brilliant colorist. His paintings work because of the combination of brushstroke, line, and color. But his colors are so superior to almost everything painted thoughout the Modernist period. His colors suggested such a wide range of sensations that he didn't need to use many brushstrokes or lines in his work.

194.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 9:00 AM

Matisse taught art and studied from the model for many years.

Really, he never stopped. Traditional training definitely informed his work, but he also did much of his experimentation directly from the model as well, and I think that lends his work a lot of its strength.

This gets back to what John said about verging into a mess, which figurative painters have to deal with as well when they de-emphasize realism like Matisse did. Pulling off a sloppy style successfully means identifying when you've gone off the deep end (which you know by taste) and pulling back from the brink (which you accomplish by drawing ability).

195.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 9:03 AM

He really didn't work straight from his imagination on a consistent basis until his late paper cut-out period.

I agree that observation of reality was one of the keys to his overwhelming success.

p.s. The two reviews I wrote for artnet were edited to death by Walter Robinson.

196.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 9:25 AM

We certainly approve of describing the art, Eric. It just feels a little superfluous, to me, when we've got the images right there on the page. I read Patrick O'Brian's brilliant biography of Picasso and he described any paintings he discussed in some detail, but the book didn't have a single photo in it. So it made sense. (Of course, it was written a few decades before the Web; I followed along with the book on the great On-Line Picasso Project.)

When describing art in my admittedly amateur (and amateurish) reviews, I try to describe anything that doesn't come through in the JPEG. Anything that does, I leave to the JPEG. That's just my style.

But anyway. Your comment about Matisse's colors are thought-provoking. Now that you've mentioned it, of course I remember other people saying something similar, but I wasn't thinking of color until you mentioned it. You're right that his colors are great, and maybe I skip over that because of my own struggles with color. I've been concentrating for a while now on my skin tones -- I want to capture something special about skin which I haven't yet been able to -- but beyond that, my color sense is undeveloped. Franklin suggested some exercises when I saw him last, but I'm probably too lazy to take him up on them.

I saw a TV show on Rothko recently in which they said Rothko's favorite painter was Matisse. It sounds strange, the narrator went on, but then the camera zoomed in on a tiny part of a Matisse, a red wall, and explained that Rothko had basically taken that tiny piece and enlarged it. And I could see what they meant.

197.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 9:35 AM

Unfortunately most editors I have worked with, with the exception of David Cohen, prefered description over abstract ideas. I have had what I considered to be the meat of my reviews hacked away by editors, and there was only description and a simplistic thumbs up tacked onto the end left over.

Rothko's and Diebenkorn's color contrasts and tonal values completely sprout from Matisse's canvases.

198.

300

June 16, 2008, 10:23 AM

ah refreshing nap. Opie I found this preview of What Art Is on line. Here is a link to the chapter on the cognitive function of art. Funny I always thought that I'd like to discuss this with you. Oh gee Franklin does this become a hypertext thing? Sorry its so long.

http://books.google.com/books?id=hIg80jT5aOIC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=The+Cognitive+Function+of+Art&source=web&ots=0KXTJ2rmWg&sig=kFg48XMnkkz3X5lp-aIpyx6C6CA&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA27,M1

199.

300

June 16, 2008, 10:26 AM

oops.

200.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 10:29 AM

Chris you shouldn't struggle through my writing. If you don't like it don't read it. It is easy. I included the link because I thought it related to the topic, or one of the topics, at hand.

Matisse's distortions were the by-product of close observations of real phenomena, the figure in space, natural lighting, objects in a room, architecture, the decorative patterns he found on various fabrics, essentially the world he lived in everyday (Fairfield Porter and Milton Avery learned from this). Matisse owned an ink drawing by van Gogh and a bathers painting by Cezanne. He held on to the Cezanne when he was hard up for cash. He studied these endlessly and copied paintings in the Louvre. So the combination of studying works of art he loved and drawing and painting from life paid off for him. There is never any fussiness, busyness, or general clutter in his paintings. Some of his ink drawings are busy though. He really was the first painter to allow fields of intense color or combinations of colors to 'speak' for themselves.

201.

opie

June 16, 2008, 10:35 AM

From what I can grasp (and it isn't easy, with terms like "psycho-epistemological" and the general lack of specifics) she thinks art is the embodiment, or "concretization" of "higher abstractions" into "reality".

This is, again, a "thinkers" concept, and it is dead wrong.

I didn't realize there was such a Rand industry. It's huge!

202.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 10:39 AM

Rand has been made into an idol by many people.

203.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 10:42 AM

On the contrary, Eric, I don't struggle through your writing. You're so sensitive! No wonder you're a hermit! No, I found the article very interesting. And I really liked some of the paintings -- they were all new to me and I'd like to know more about the whole situation.

Your writing is far, far more interesting than the Objectivist stuff I've looked at today -- although that's not saying a lot, I guess.

I, like Matisse, have been doing a lot of work from life lately. Unlike Matisse I haven't copied any paintings; I've never had the desire to do so, either. Laziness again.

Picasso felt, very strongly, that he was carrying forward a line in art, picking up where Renoir left off. I think he really felt he was engaged in an active conversation with the artists of the past.

In a way I feel I'd like to do the same thing. But I'm also overwhelmed with humility -- it seems so far beyond anything I could even attempt. Also, I'm not sure who picked up after Picasso -- in terms of drawing, and drawing in painting. It feels like art's exploded in so many directions, it's like navigating a minefield where most of the mines have already been set off.

204.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 10:44 AM

OP sez:
I didn't realize there was such a Rand industry. It's huge!

Notice there is no Kant industry, or Quine industry. Industries only flourish around demagogues.

205.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 10:56 AM

Matisse and Picasso loved paintings and sculptures from the past. They had the time and freedom to study work up close. They each did entirely different things with the art that influnced them. We don't live in the same world. We are stuck with reproductions. Of course if either of us had Koons' money we could actually buy works that we could enjoy studying and being influenced by. It is hard to really enjoy a painting and to learn from it when we only have a digital image of it at our disposal. Information wise repros are just fine, but there is no way to learn about how it was made, how it was painted, when examining a digital image of it.

206.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 11:01 AM

I agree completely. One of things I love about paintings is that they can't be reproduced properly. You have to see them in person. I often talk about "meeting" a painting.

I get to meet a lot of paintings since I'm near New York. On the other hand, a lot of paintings are jerks.

207.

opie

June 16, 2008, 11:09 AM

Well, there is a Kant "industry" of sorts, just as there is an Einstein or Mozart or Shakespeare or Picasso industry, but there is a difference, a less fanatic "feel" or more substantial and settled foundation to those. But, again, I don't know that much about Rand or her industry.

208.

300

June 16, 2008, 11:13 AM

Chris are you going to give me substance about Rand or are you just going to keep throwing needles? Do you have something to tell me that I can learn from? Tell me why she sucks. I am very open to reading about it. Opie how is it dead wrong? I am assuming here(please correct me) that art should not be completely intellectualized, that there should be breathing room for the sublime. Am I getting this right?

209.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 11:16 AM

Also, I never see people sitting in museums and copying paintings. When I go to the MET I usually try to find a bench near some interesting cultural artifact and do a sketch. This is not an ideal situation. People are creeping up behind you trying to peek at your work. You can't see the art that clearly or at the best angle. The lighting is very dim so as to protect the work. The guards are hovering nearby. In this day and age it is almost impossible to copy work in a New York museum. Maybe things are better in other cities. Maybe other city museums allow visitors to pull up a chair and do a real copy of something.

I remember a long time ago I was visiting the MET and I was looking at some Roman heads which were displayed on square column pedestals that were not fastened to the ground and stood about five feet off the ground. I stupidly lurched to the side when I was standing near one of them and the pedestal began to rock back and forth! I literally grabbed the thing to stop it (and the head) from moving and a guard ran up to me and scolded me. I remember walking out of the museum, trembling and sweaty, and sitting on the front steps and smoking three cigarettes in a row.

210.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 11:30 AM

Dear 300 (are you named after the Frank Miller movie?),

Here are some quotes from Rand's magnum opus "The Fountainhead". They are profoundly facile and just plain embarrassing. What more needs to be said about Rand as a thinker? Please remember that these are supposed to be things that people say to one another in Rand's fictional world.

""You know that I hate you, Roark. I hate you for what you are, for wanting you, for having to want you. I'm going to fight you-and I'm going to destroy you-and I tell you this as calmly as I told you that I'm a begging animal. I'm going to pray that you can't be destroyed-I tell you this, too-even though I believe in nothing and have nothing to pray to. But I will fight to block every step you take. I will fight to tear every chance you want away from you. I will hurt you through the only thing that can hurt you-through your work. I will fight to starve you, to strangle you on the things you won't be able to reach. I have done it to you to today-and that is why I shall sleep with you tonight.""

""You missed the beautiful pride of utter selflessness. Only when you learn to deny your ego, completely, only when you learn to be amused by such piddling sentimentalities as your little sex urges-only then will you achieve the greatness which I have always expected of you.""

211.

opie

June 16, 2008, 11:33 AM

"I am assuming here that art should not be completely intellectualized, that there should be breathing room for the sublime"

Art is not "intellectual" in the usual sense at all. It is something made from concrete materials (or words or sounds etc) to be experienced.

Rand is intellectualizing it by presuming, like Plato, that the starting point of art is "higher concepts" or abstract ideas and that materials are used to embody and express these abstractions. Like other literary "idea" people for her the idea comes first, not the experience and the (so far) indescribable value (poor word) that comes with it. I can see why she would have to be against abstract art in principle.

This is dead wrong because art does not start from ideas (although obviously it can incorporate all kinds of ideas) but with an art-making brain which fashions something from materials which is called "art" and put out in the world to be experienced by other brains. The experience clearly stems from some sort of organizing power of the brain that made it. "Higher abstractions" have nothing to do with any of it.

212.

opie

June 16, 2008, 11:38 AM

Interesting quote, Eric. Sort of a macho "superman" idea. I bet most of her fans are men.

213.

300

June 16, 2008, 11:46 AM

yeah, 300 was chosen quickly because some old high school buddy saw one of my self portraits and said that I looked like the guy from 300. My name was already taken. Your second quote is said by the main antagonist of the novel. Maybe I am really slow. Explain why the writing is bad and laughable. And please understand I am approaching this with the least amount of emotion as possible. I truly want to understand and learn something here. Which is becoming pretty hard to do since I have to keep asking more questions. I'll admit it is difficult to stay this way when I project the way in which you use the moniker "dear" So don't be a snob. Like in the movie Philadelphia "explain this to me as I were a 6 year old"

214.

opie

June 16, 2008, 12:01 PM

"...I am approaching this with the least amount of emotion as possible"

Like a true Randian, I presume.

215.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 12:02 PM

In a novel you don't want the characters to be one dimensional mouthpieces for your philosophical system. Real people don't talk like that. Write a philosophical treatise if you want to share your philosophy with the world. Or figure out a way to tell the story in such a way that your intellectual agenda isn't so baldly visible. That is why most political art sucks. If you want to make a point about politics write an article or a treatise or even better actually do something in the political sphere. Don't paint a didactic painting that is weak visually and attempts to express political views that are usually just a reflection of the audience's views anyway. Rand wasn't a good novelist. I don't think she was a good philosopher either. The issues she contends with, the dichotomies, are beyond moot at this point in time. She obviously hated communism/socialism/collectivism and I guess back then it was important to decry these things but she did so in a stilted and hokey fashion.

216.

dude

June 16, 2008, 12:06 PM

Eric, have you read the book Greenberg wrote on Matisse? It's been mentioned here before...Sharecom/Terry Fenton has an online version up on the Greenberg site. Fenton posted a little preface for it about how this is one of the only examples of Greenberg writing about specific works in detail. This little book is a gem. What he picks up on in the paintings, from surface, to light, to composition and handling...it's a remarkable thing to read. Some of what he has to say about how Matisse's space is created is very informative.

As for Picasso, I'vve been flipping through this raissonne thing we have and I was impressed by the range of media deployed in a single work throughout his early career especially. This history is deep water for me, but I was wondering if this was common back then, 1908-ish as I recall, for artists to be using different media and letting it all hang out. Was he the first mixed media (god i hate that label) artist for real? He was an animal. To me it makes perfect sense that he would find his way from here to Cubism and collage. He had such an obvious investment in the materials and surface and a need to see what they could do.

217.

opie

June 16, 2008, 12:06 PM

I don't know if it is laughable, 300, but " I hate you for having to want you" is about as deep soap and you can get. And if I were Roark I would be outa there before that little speech was half through.

218.

opie

June 16, 2008, 12:10 PM

No, "1908ish" was not a time of mixed media, despite experiments here & there. That really did not start in earnest until collage in 1912.

219.

dude

June 16, 2008, 12:13 PM

Ok. I was just wondering because some of the media lists for certain works are something like: oil, gouache, chalk, and ink on cardboard. That seems like a lot of experimenting going on for the time, but maybe not by contemporary standards?

220.

dude

June 16, 2008, 12:14 PM

by contemporary i meant 1908ish

221.

opie

June 16, 2008, 12:24 PM

Oh, I see what you mean. It was not uncommon at all for artists to use several mediums for sketching and preliminary work, but Picasso was certainly one for messing around with anything he could lay his hands on.

Also if that is Zervos you are looking at everything Picasso ever touched in in it, so you will have a great variety of everything.

222.

dude

June 16, 2008, 12:34 PM

No it's not the Zervos version. But holy flip,I just googled it, 30 volumes plus...so far??!! Like I said, an animal. What did you make of that big Matisse vs. Picasso show 10 years or so ago? The one where they were trying to flesh out the visual exchange going on btwn the two throughout their careers.

223.

opie

June 16, 2008, 12:53 PM

"What did you make of that big Matisse vs. Picasso show 10 years or so ago?"

I never saw it. I would have been torn between loving the paintings and annoyed at the pairings.

224.

300

June 16, 2008, 1:00 PM

I am disappointed in your answers Opie but thank you anyhow. Eric you write:
"In a novel you don't want the characters to be one dimensional mouthpieces for your philosophical system"
You don't? From what I understand you can't avoid it. If the character is muddled than the philosphy is muddled as well (James Joyce Portrait of an Artist)
"Real people don't talk like that"
Yeah that's why its art. According to her art is what ought be but isn't. What the hell, you can't walk around and be a Jedi either.
Dude(not you dude but just plain dude) her so called "industry" is filled with her treatises. Have you read any of them? And why hide your agenda? Are you hiding agendas? Is Opie hiding an agenda? How the heck do we know about the world if agendas are hidden? What is sooooo refreshing is the fact that it is NOT hidden. Strong opinions usually cause controversy, because sometime in our lives we realize that you just can't make everyone happy. So we might as well not hide what we think. Political art does suck! I agree! Hear hear. I'd hate to research all the Bush schlock that has been created recently. Don't assume anything about my paintings. You don't think she was a good philosopher. Thank you, that is something I want to pin down. WHY do you think she is not a good philosopher? I want you to change my mind. Please try. What are these points that I am supposed to swallow as moot? The socialist/communist/ free-market thing does not seem moot at all. Read the last few threads. Damn it. I am becoming like Clem and Cedric aren't I?

225.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 1:04 PM

I saw the Matisse/Picasso show. I enjoyed it, but neither of the two really move me in a serious way -- I'd have much preferred a Rousseau/Van Gogh show, for example. Not that the pairing makes any sense at all except in my little universe.

I didn't feel Matisse/Picasso did a lot of outright pairing -- not the way they have that Picasso and Braque pairing in the Met where you can't tell which one's which without checking the labels. I recall the show as being packed, both with paintings and people, but not very rigid or dogmatic. More of an excuse to get a whole bunch of stuff together in a big room. And of course it wasn't in the "real" museum, so the space was more open and forgiving, not as broken up into hallways and rooms. I remember it as being more of a meandering space.

It didn't blow me away (except in terms of the line to get in and the cost of admission).

226.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 1:11 PM

King Leonidas, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to give you anything concrete to discuss. Not because I'm intentionally being a jerk, but just because, like I wrote earlier, I simply don't remember enough of why I think Objectivism is dumb. Note that I didn't say Objectivists themselves are stupid; just objectionable. They tend, in my experience, to be very argumentative and not amenable to other people's ideas, although they can be very intelligent. I don't mean anything negative about you; don't take it personally.

I think Eric is right that she's not a very good novelist or philosopher. I liked The Fountainhead, though. It was stylistically clunky, but I enjoyed it anyway. I have a copy of Anthem around here, too, and I remember liking it okay. I never made it through Atlas Shrugged although I've got that also.

I think Ayn Rand is a writer for young people; when you hit middle age I think she's less relevant. If you're an engineer in training, in college (which I was once upon a time), she can seem really important. Also, if you're a fan of early Rush, you kind of have to read Rand, don't you? I was and did.

227.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 1:14 PM

Back to Picasso: Dude, I think Picasso used so many different things because, judging by the O'Brian biography, he was really poor for a long time. A lot of artists were forced to work with things like cardboard because that's all they could find. These days I guess we have a whole industry of cheap art supplies, so instead of using paper bags and old chewing gum we can use Fredrix canvas boards and store-brand acrylics.

228.

300

June 16, 2008, 1:14 PM

ha hahahahahahha that was good Chris. King Leonidus!! hahahah

229.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 1:16 PM

One of the truisms of writing fiction is that you have to love all the characters, even the villains, or they end up two-dimensional. Also, you only have a certain amount of credibility as an author and you use it up when your characters spout polemic, which flattens them as well. The characters can have a philosophy, but you don't want them to become cardboard in the process of expressing it to each other, and that's what happens in some of the worse passages of Rand. Like I said, I read her back in high school, one of her shorter novels, and I enjoyed it fine. I don't have a dog in this fight, except that her ideas about art are mistaken. Art can't be defined, and styles of art can't be dismissed wholesale from a basis in theory (although you can dismiss them as a class based on experience). Also, you can tell by word choice whether someone is operating from taste or rationalization when they're looking at art, and Rand definitely leaned towards the latter.

230.

King!

June 16, 2008, 1:37 PM

Thank you Franklin. These points are made as well in What Art Is. It really is a good spanking on her thought but it saves the truism very well. I just really believe it worth a scholarly look at. Especially from someone like you. Now as Art not being definable. I can't seem to wrap my brain around that. If something is not definable then we are going on some kind of subjective idea that stands on nothing but faith. Then we are all right about art? So what ever it is we present as it is fine? This explains our University art systems pretty well then. And its precisely why profs butt heads all of the time because they want to be the art god or are very lazy. I've experienced both. Can art have a standard with out definitions?

231.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 1:43 PM

If you honestly think that Portrait of the Artist or The Dubliners and any fiction written by Rand are on the same playing field than we have a profoundly different take on literature and our 'discussion' should end here.

232.

King

June 16, 2008, 1:58 PM

Remember 6 year old over here. Why oh why oh great intellectual giant, do you not teach me why these should not be mentioned together? Franklin did(I can probably argue with him about some of those points as well, but I am not trying to defend her fiction-which I enjoy very much) My point is that eventually we will be arguing philosophically about those novels after we deal with its aesthetic value. So lets get into that. Stop acting offended. Snob ...assume community assume community (that's for me)

233.

SYA

June 16, 2008, 2:07 PM

Art is an idea and a concept, jeesh!

234.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 2:23 PM

Now as Art not being definable. I can't seem to wrap my brain around that. If something is not definable then we are going on some kind of subjective idea that stands on nothing but faith. Then we are all right about art?

It doesn't stand on faith, but on shared general agreement that we're going to regard certain objects in a certain way. That doesn't make it subjective, just undefinable. There are other indistinct classes of phenomena that we deal with in the same way: wealth, kindness, quality, and so on - that you can neither pin satisfactory definitions on, nor deny the existence of.

Sya, if art is an idea, does it go away when you stop thinking about it?

235.

1

June 16, 2008, 2:40 PM

john,

scott bennett definitely looks new-mo to me. nice paintings. i have never heard of him, but they remind me of hughto.

236.

Hovig

June 16, 2008, 3:00 PM

@234: if art is an idea, does it go away when you stop thinking about it?

Of course it does. Why wouldn't it?

PS: This may be the most interesting question ever posted on this site.

237.

opie

June 16, 2008, 3:04 PM

It doesn't stand on faith, it stands on experience, and that is what we go by 99% of the time. Definitions are just words. Art is beyond words.

Break into your own daily routine sometime and notice how you do things, make decisions, carry out tasks, do all kinds of regular things without ever thinking verbally. Why is it, I wonder, that as soon as we talk about art we need "definitions"?

You can "define art" in a more or less workable way, if you want to, but you cannot say why it is good or bad. That is up to intuitional judgement.

Franklin one of these days we have to codify all these answers. We have been repeating them for what, 5 years?, and they just keep coming back over and over again.

300, if my answers about Rand are "disappointing", and you are so avid about digging into the subject, it probably needs more discussing.

238.

opie

June 16, 2008, 3:05 PM

Interesting, Hovig, but easily answered.

Yes.

239.

opie

June 16, 2008, 3:07 PM

However, SYA won't go away if you stop thinking about him.

240.

300

June 16, 2008, 3:13 PM

Franklin then what you are saying by "shared general agreement" you are implying culture. So that one culture's art is different from another. The implication, from what I see, is that we take this "agreement sum" of a group of individuals and average an answer as to what this art thing is according to that group. ,but all of it is under the umbrella called art, regardless each group's answer to what it is? What is that umbrella? What is that umbrella called art? Are there "universals"that give it its existence. The question circles back(I think) to what is art? I've racked my brain over it for a few years now, because it is my profession, I should know what I am doing. Ayn Rand was able to put it in the most understandable terms. I don't think that understanding diminished Art's power. So I do not share the general consensus of not defining it. In fact, I would make the argument that I enjoy art that much more with this understanding.

241.

opie

June 16, 2008, 3:20 PM

300 no one said that defining art diminishes it. Only that it cannot be defined.

That, in turn, is not really precise, because art can be usefully "defined" a few different ways. What you choose to take as art is art, pretty much. But you cannot put into words why it is good or bad.

242.

300

June 16, 2008, 3:24 PM

Let's say I was a good car mechanic. Experience with knowledge makes me good, yes? After enough experience I certainly do not have to dig into my knowledge since it is well entrenched, but what if I had to pass this knowledge on to the next generation? I have to start with the knowledge and that is certainly full of solid definitions. Wrench, what is it, how do you use it etc.. The principles of motors-what is a motor-etc... get what I am after Opie? I'd hate to have my car repaired by the guy that hasn't knowledge of a car because his teacher did not or could not define what a tire was.

243.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 3:30 PM

I wonder how many mechanics could actually define "wrench." That's not as easy as it looks.

You can define art provisionally, or enough to talk about it, but drawing the line on this side or the other of the edge cases would take up all of your time.

244.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 3:30 PM

Okay 300 let's talk about Rand the artist. Give me a quote or some small bit of text from any of her novels that you think is great art. I never said you were a six year old. It is amusing to see you argue with yourself but please give examples of Rand's great artistry, something that puts her on the same footing as Joyce as a fiction writer. Then at least I can have some clue as to what the hell you are talking about. Also, stick with what I actually say and try not to rely on your wonderous powers of ESP.

245.

300

June 16, 2008, 3:32 PM

The standard that definitions provide instrinsically provides a value-judgement on art to begin with. If it is not a painting then it is obviosly not a good painting, no matter what a NYTimes critic calls it. I recently saw a show where a "photographer" found a bunch of photographs somewhere,anywhere, and displayed them. Is she a good photographer? Things like this baffles me. Help me out. What am I missing here?

246.

opie

June 16, 2008, 3:34 PM

It is not a problem. We know what a tire is and we know what art is. You don't talk to someone about art and insist on a definition of art, because you and the person you are talking to both know what you are talking about.

Now because there is a world out there and we talk it is useful to have definitions. Did you know that the first really comprehensive dictionary in English was only published in 1755? And that people have been talking in England since prehistoric times without one? Definitions are there because stuff is, not the other way around. And none of them are 100% perfect.

If you had to say "what is a good tire" you could probably make a reasonable list pretty quickly. But if you have to say what good art is you'd be stumped. The only answer would be "art that I like". And, although there are more interesting and sophisticated speculations than that (Franklin hinted at a consensus, for example) that's about it.
Don't sweat it.

247.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 3:36 PM

This is what I mean by the edge cases. There's something called found photography and I'm not entirely convinced about it. But I have not found a way to disprove that an object put into an art context, presented as art, is in fact not art. If you can't define what it isn't, you can't define what it is.

248.

opie

June 16, 2008, 3:40 PM

#245 No, a definition is not a value judgement unless the definition specifically implies value. If we let nomenclature imply value we will be stumbling all over the place. If it is hanging in a gallery and everyone thinks it is art then it is art, for all intents and purposes. Then all we care about is whether it is any good. That's what people argue about, not defnitions.

249.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 3:43 PM

300

Art is a canvas, a framing context for communicating emotions and ideas. These days, that canvas can take any shape and form that arises from intention. It can even be your own mental projection upon the reality surrounding you (this is not widely accepted). Art could as well be a philosophical Plato's cave. You decide.

But principles of faith and consensus influence the possibility that this canvas or frame can occur. If you believe in God, than the conception of your powers as an artist may be limited or enhanced by that. Not every cognitive values can co-exist with an artistic ideal.

So I guess your umbrella would be the cognitive equation that permits the possibility of art can occur.


Cedric

250.

300

June 16, 2008, 3:49 PM

I have to laugh at myself Eric, because I myself wonder what the hell I am talking about sometimes, I get tangled in all these tangents. What you request at this point would be like me lobbing you a slow pitch softball. Give me time for this to make it fair. It seems though that you imply that I think she is amazing. I enjoy her clear,"hokey" writing in fiction, the same way I enjoy a movie like "Singing in the Rain". It is clean, unobtrusive, joy. What is wrong with that? I think that is great. Sure there are great novels out there. (I don't know about Joyce though) It is the book "What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand" that I am mostly engaged with. It is a CRITIQUE on her writing of it, that I'd like to get substance on. I re-read it a few times and would love to play devils advocate with anyone as an exercise and a "conviction builder" on art. I certainly want to be"corrected" if this correction does not happen then I can claim the knowledge I held on to through our arguments as valuable, get what I am saying Eric? I retract any name calling I have done. Shall we start again?

251.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 3:50 PM

[You know what's really unfair? My hospitality getting abused by people who avail themselves of an easily-accessible forum with no respect for the person who produces it and maintains it. - F.]

252.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 3:53 PM

Aw, too bad - that other comment from Cedric actually tried to talk about the topic, but here we are back at the insults. Everyone pause for a moment while I delete them again. Cedric, go away please.

253.

300

June 16, 2008, 4:07 PM

Well Opie here is my case why I would sweat this stuff. I have a finite time and I hate the bastardization of art that goes on in the galleries and museums. I want that great motivation that good art can give me. I want to experience that awe with my brotherhood when I see a great painting.(It does not have to be just painting) I will never get that time back I used to drive through this horrible traffic just to see somebody's notion on what they think art is only to be terribly disappointed and disgruntled. I believe you know that feeling. If we had some kind of standard our lives would be that much more fulfilling. I think through taking back standards we may begin to, say get Jack out to more shows! Ha ha ha.

254.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 4:10 PM

We're back.

This is, in fact, what's wrong with Rand's definition - it's essentially a value judgment. "Art is a selective recreation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments." Things that aren't recreations of reality, such as abstraction? They're not art. So are all the people who regard abstract painting, for instance, as art just mistaken? It falls to you to prove it.

It didn't go anywhere, but I started a discussion with Edward Winkleman that if you can declare art by fiat, which seems to be the case, then the viewer ought to be able to declare something not to be art by fiat. Something goes into or out of the category art as the fiats match up. Of course, they never match up perfectly. But while the category of art has a fuzzy border, it has a well understood center - drawing, painting, and sculpture. Fiats match extremely well regarding the center.

255.

opie

June 16, 2008, 4:11 PM

And his attempt was only semi-coherent anyway. Good riddance.

On the other hand, good response, 300 (#250)

256.

opie

June 16, 2008, 4:17 PM

" If we had some kind of standard our lives would be that much more fulfilling."

I think it's quite clear tht you have a standard and a pretty rigorous one, 300. It just isn.t verbal.

257.

300

June 16, 2008, 4:31 PM

Here we go again with definitions Franklin. So as to not assume anything; What is abstraction? I am sure you have heard comments from a lay person looking at abstract art like: "it looks like a map of a different planet" Or "that reminds me of rust on a car' or something along those lines, my point is that they are trying to tie it back in to reality. Because as I said much earlier; liking abstract work is a learned process and a fairly recent process at that(?) It is one thing to think aestheticly about something in our sensory experience and another to call it art. You are correct about her definition being a value-judgement. Just like the lay people in my example, we judge the artist(the value-judger) on his re-presentation of reality. And we naturally try to all hell make it fit reality if it doesn't obviously do so like realism does. So the answer is abstraction is not valid(I am shaky on declaring that)

258.

John

June 16, 2008, 4:36 PM

Yes Opie (#216), that is the kind of statement a female black widow makes just before mating.

259.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 4:37 PM

If abstraction doesn't work for someone, fine, they can regard it as invalid. But trying to get it out of the category of art is a different problem. If abstraction is not art, what am I doing with an abstract painting when I'm enjoying looking at it? Can you prove that the painting I'm looking at isn't art?

I already defined abstraction up in #180.

260.

opie

June 16, 2008, 4:39 PM

Why not just look it up, 300?

When you say it is not "valid" are you making that statement or saying it is Rand's statement? it's not clear.

261.

Chris Rywalt

June 16, 2008, 4:42 PM

I've known a lot of mechanics in my time and I don't think any of them could define "wrench" (the tool). And not because they're dumb -- my father was a mechanic and he's very smart -- but because I don't think mechanics think of their tools that way. Their tools are tools, devices that can be used to get a job done. And they're very, very specialized. There's no such thing as a wrench -- there are torque wrenches and crescent wrenches and all kinds of other wrenches with specific functions.

A painter's brushes are their tools the same way. No one needs to define a brush or a wrench, they just need to know how to use them.

An artist and a mechanic can both pass on to the next generation that kind of procedural knowledge. If your car gets caught in a flood, these are the kinds of things that break on it. If you put this kind of paint on that kind of support, in five years your support will disintegrate and your paint will fall off.

Asking "what is art?" is like asking "what is a car?" It doesn't matter: People drive cars, they break, they want them fixed. Who cares about the philosophy of cars? Not mechanics! Similarly: People want to look at art, they need someone to make it. Who cares about the philosophy of art?

262.

300

June 16, 2008, 4:42 PM

Franklin your shapes and colors fit much easier into reality. We can see a human form as we see in say a David Park piece.(not a comparison just an observation) Its the Jackson Pollock stuff I am thinking about.

263.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 4:47 PM

But the Jackson Pollock stuff is also shape. It's just shape by itself.

#261 was brilliant.

264.

300

June 16, 2008, 4:47 PM

Chris philosophers care. As do really good artist and mechanics. It is Rand's position Opie. God know what a jumbled mess I have in my brain. That's why I am talking about this stuff-to sort it all out.

265.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 4:50 PM

"For Greenberg, abstract exist as an utopic condition. I find it evident that it is an utopic condition. In a sense, abstract art doesn't exist. Behind each abstract gesture is hidden a figurative reference or a metaphoric
influence, to some level. Once you have admit that, better work with it and see what comes out of it."


Anish Kapoor, preceding a description of his thematic for the work Svayambh (catalog, 2007)


(curtesy Ced)

266.

MC

June 16, 2008, 4:51 PM

I am sure you have heard comments from a lay person looking at abstract art like: "it looks like a map of a different planet"

That's interesting... I once saw a map of another planet that I thought looked like abstract art...

"I've known a lot of mechanics in my time and I don't think any of them could define "wrench" (the tool)."

And then, you get the Brit mechanics, who'll say, "Oh, you mean a spanner". It's all just so confusing...

267.

MC

June 16, 2008, 4:54 PM

Map of a planet, or abstract art?

... or both?

268.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 5:09 PM

Chris

People do think about the impact of cars on the environment. They used not to think about it, but it's an evolving issue. Slowly, but surely.

In a same way, I believe people are getting more aware
of art and are slowly questioning about it. Art in itself is intrinsic to philosophy. It's an opinion.


Cedric

269.

opie

June 16, 2008, 5:13 PM

The best way to deal with a jumbled mess, 300, it is just go with the simple, clear and obvious.

You can "understand" the David Park but not the Pollock.

Why? because the Park has a figure.

Does the figure make it a good painting? No, because then any picture with a figure in it would be a good painting. And one figure painting would be as good as another figure painting.

So if it isn't the figure, what is it? Who knows? But if it isn't the figure that makes it good, then why does the absence of a figure make it not good?

The only conclusion is that the fact of the figure, the fact that there is a figure at all, is indifferent to the quality of the painting.

So, then, why not abstract painting?

Does this make sense?

It does. But that doesn't mean you're going to accept it. Try to understand why. Could it be simple cultural conditioning? I think so.

270.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 5:31 PM

Art in itself is intrinsic to philosophy. It's an opinion.

I knew that there were people who were trying to make art a subset of philosophy but I have never seen it so baldly stated. It's not, of course. You can apply philosophy to art as you can apply it to anything, but that's a characteristic of philosophy, not art. And while the appreciation of art involves opinion, art is not itself an opinion.

By the way, you see how your name appears at the top of the comment, Cedric? There's no need to put it at the bottom as well, and on a thread this long, it would help out a lot if you stopped doing that. One line between paragraphs instead of two or more would help out too.

271.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 5:41 PM

The art object doesn't exist by itself, Franklin.
It is a perceptual experience involving physical senses,
emotions and thought, but one that invokes a decision, which is philosophic.

272.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 5:44 PM

Art is a philosophical stone for communication.

273.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 5:51 PM

Nothing exists by itself. All objects made by humans involve senses, emotion, thought, and decisions. #271 neither distinguishes art from any other man-made object nor includes art into philosophy. #272 is flummery.

274.

Cedric Casp

June 16, 2008, 5:56 PM

271 maintains that the separation from art to
other objects is a decision which is based on
a philosophy, aesthetic or otherwise, but a
decision that can't manifest without. Hence,
art is philosophic. The art object thrown into
a black hole is nada.

275.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 5:58 PM

"I enjoy her clear,"hokey" writing in fiction, the same way I enjoy a movie like "Singing in the Rain". It is clean, unobtrusive, joy. What is wrong with that? I think that is great."

300 if you initially said that Rand is a fun read and that you simply enjoy reading her novels I never would have taken up the topic with you at all. The problem is, and this is an ongoing problem with some of the commenters around here, is that you say one thing, blurt out a value judgement, and then completely retract it a few comments later or change your tune as if you are a schizophrenic nutbag. So what the f-ck?

You made this statement:

"From what I understand you can't avoid it. If the character is muddled than the philosphy is muddled as well (James Joyce Portrait of an Artist)"

Besides not really understanding what the hell you are talking about it appears that you are saying that authors must create one dimensional characters that represent a singular philosophical viewpoint or they are muddled and represent literary failure. Then you go on to say that James Joyce's brilliant, moving, and profound (enough value judgement for you?) semi-autobiographical novel "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is an example of an author creating muddled characters who do not clearly represent a clear philosophical viewpoint. That, in my mind is utterly wrong. I could easily and quickly find many memorable and beautiful quotes from Joyce's early work, which includes such masterpieces as "The Dead" and "Araby", but it is telling tnat you would need time to find one quote from Rand which displays great artistic merit.

So please don't make it sound like I am attacking your regular guy tastes. I was not. I was commenting on a specific thing that you said that you threw to the side before completely changing your tune.

276.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 6:04 PM

The separation of art and other objects is a problem of philosophy, specifically aesthetic philosophy. Art itself is not philosophy. Anything thrown into a black hole is nada.

277.

Eric

June 16, 2008, 6:31 PM

300 sorry if I sounded harsh. I hope that you continue to enjoy reading Rand regardless of our exchange here. More power to you. Reading is fundmanetal and all that. I can't comment on Rand's thoughts about art because I would never take the time to read them. I am forty and there is a lot of other stuff I would like to read before I croak.

278.

300

June 16, 2008, 6:50 PM

[Apology accepted. But please, let's tone it down. - F.]

279.

300

June 16, 2008, 6:51 PM

sorry Franklin

280.

Hovig

June 16, 2008, 7:00 PM

Franklin #276 - By "aesthetic philosophy" did you mean the philosophy of aesthetics, or did you mean philosophy with aesthetic characteristics (aka fiat art)?

281.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 7:03 PM

I meant the philosophy of aesthetics.

282.

SYA

June 16, 2008, 7:07 PM

Artists make art, enough said! To be any more specific, you just need to talk about what KIND of art they make.

283.

Cedric

June 16, 2008, 7:44 PM

The arts of today are Aristotle's Telos, and whatever the aims of an artwork, it it is always a spectacle attempting to please or displease, which is an axis of values that I don't find too incongruous with some principles of hedonism. This said, that would mean trying to seek out what's the philosophy behind artmaking. To each his own. But I find that the quest for the Telos that informs us about the existence of an art object is a product of philosophy, therefore.

Art doesn"t come to you. You come at it. It's a state of the mind. And it's a state of the mind that you can open to everything around you. You don't even need artists. You decide.

(you'll be all happy to know that I must leave for a week to fulfill my passion to see more art...)

284.

opie

June 16, 2008, 8:00 PM

hallelujah!

285.

Franklin

June 16, 2008, 10:24 PM

Figuring out the purpose of something, if it's not a practical matter, is a philosophical problem. You're right in one respect - for this, you don't need artists. But art is not philosophy. #283 is a mess, though.

286.

Scott Bennett

June 18, 2008, 7:24 AM

Hello. This is my first comment on this blog, and actually my first comment on any blog ( other than my own ). I appreciate the discourse and community, have limited time, and so may not participate as often as many of you do ( not to say that everyone's time is precious,..just my choice ).

John posted two images of my work and there was some discussion, so I thought I would introduce myself. Thank you, Opie, for the compliment. I agree with you, Edo is a strange picture. "Alien Still Life"....I like that.

John,..you understand very well the fine line that can exist between "creating a mess"..or a "doodle" ..and making a good picture. ( "good picture"- my choice of words ). I prefer to stay away from most of the philosphical discussion about art, ...just my preference,....and I will also stay away from provocation, but for now will say one thing: I find it more useful to not differentiate between abstract or representational art,..or atleast to make the effort to do so, as I believe, ultimately, it doesn't matter. I'm hungry for that high that one can get from looking at great art, or very good art, and my experience tells me that neither abstract or representational art has a premium on quality or level ( historical periods aside ).

287.

opie

June 18, 2008, 8:09 AM

"I'm hungry for that high that one can get from looking at great art"

Don't we wish everyone was!

This thread is just about dead, Scott. We can use all the truly art-hungry commenters we can get, so comment whenever you find it appropriate on newer threads.

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